COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS
Residential Schools Healing
- Program name:
Nah Dah Mah Dah Win – Moving Forward Together Residential School Healing and Reconciliation Project
At^lohsa Native Family Healing Centre Inc.
- Target Group:
All male and female survivors of residential schools.
- Contact Name:
Shanda Kennedy, Program Coordinator
The Residential School Program began in 2005 and sponsored a project called Dahwehdawdi. This program ended in 2010 and was funded by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. At the present time, this program is funded through the Catholic Church.
- Goals & Objectives:
To assist in the healing and address the root causes of continued cycles of violence in residential school survivors.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
Cultural elements are utilized to encourage clients on their path to living a good life. Ceremonies and activities to assist with this are: sweat lodge ceremonies, water ceremonies, sunrise ceremonies, naming ceremonies, smudging, pipe ceremonies and community feasts.
- Components of program:
The program seeks to provide a safe space in which survivors of the residential schools can tell their stories. Through talking sessions that seek to acknowledge and validate the clients' pain, the program strives to encourage healing and positive choice making.
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided on site for the most part. However, the program staff does offer their services within eight First Nation communities in the London area.
Initially, funding was provided by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. Since that organization's closure the program has received funding through the Catholic Church.
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
Every two years, they have a conference and invite the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community. The conference provides a complete demonstration of the programs and services that the organization provides to the public. There is also an Annual General Meeting held every year on the reserve in Oneida. The community is invited to provide input. An annual report is prepared and published. There is also a suggestion box for the public to voice their feedback and suggestions.
Southwest Region Violence Against Women Coordinating Committee, London Coordinating Women to End Women Abuse, Middlesex Coordinating Committee to End Women Abuse. Namerind, Nokeekway, Western Student Association, Western First Nations Student Centre, Fanshawe College First Nations Student Centre, Infants and High Risk Environment Committee, Domestic Court Advisory Committee for the City of London and Middlesex, Children Who Witness Violence Program Advisory, City of London Police Consultants Committee.
- Other relationships:
Centre for Research to End Violence Against Women Board, Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre Board, National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence, Southwest Ontario Shelter Association, No More Silence Network, Community Advocates for Ontario Works and Ontario Disability, City of London Homeless Coalition, Coalition Against Human Trafficking.
Details of Program Evaluation
No evaluation has been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
- Measures of Success:
Success is measured by those individuals who get "back to their way".
The survival of the program in the face of funding problems has been a great achievement.
Post trauma survivors now have limited support. Once 15 sessions are finished in a program, they no longer get support and too often they end up back on the street as a result of the Post Traumatic Stress.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
Replication is possible but in order for the program to operate successfully, potential program designers should look into the viability of training members of the community as well as the potential of using those community members' homes to operate out of so that every participating home could be a source of ongoing support for clients.
The program would need major capital investments and ongoing operational dollars.
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