Family Violence Initiative



Residential Schools Healing

Program name:

Together For Justice on Language, Violence and Responsibility


Liard Aboriginal Women's Society


Watson Lake, Yukon and surrounding area

Target Group:

All service providers, agencies and police working in areas of family violence.

Contact Name:

Ann Maje Raider, Executive Director





Program Overview

The Together for Justice on Language, Violence and Responsibility program started in 2011.

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To restore the personal and collective dignity of Kaska people and to respect and honour all paths to healing while connecting and teaching service providers "response based" practices, through a series of workshops, which recognize the resiliance, courage and strengths of trauma survivors, including survivors of violence and abuse (this approach does not focus on the 'failures' and 'deficits' of people who have been victimized).

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

The Together for Justice on Language, Violence and Responsibility program, and the Liard Aboriginal Women's Society, incorporates traditional spiritual ceremonies and practices into its programming. The Kaska Dena First Nation has a camp at Frances Lake for this purpose. Traditional spiritual ceremonies, such as the sweat lodge, have helped men face and overcome their violence toward women.

Components of program:

The program offers workshops to service providers that aim to assist those providers in building trust relationships with survivors of the residential school system and those experiencing intergenerational effects. The Together for Justice on Language, Violence and Responsibility program is sponsoring the following 7 workshops in both Watson Lake and Whitehorse, Yukon (for a total of 14 workshops):

  1. Bridging the Gap: cross-cultural learning between Aboriginal women, RCMP, First Nations and service agencies;
  2. Social Responses and Social Justice: international research and community work on violence and community responses;
  3. Dignity Throughout the Lifespan: improving the chances of trauma recovery and the roles of the criminal justice system and community services;
  4. Honouring Resistance: respecting the courage, resistance and strength of trauma survivors;
  5. Violence is Deliberate: methods of working with offenders;
  6. Violence and Language: accurate recording of accounts of violence for courts, rehabilitation and safety planning;
  7. Interviewing and Eliciting Accounts of Violence and Evidence: practice-based workshop for service providers
Services/How they work:

Services are provided on site at the facility or on site at participating organization's facilities.


Funding provided by: the Department of the Status of Women Canada; the Yukon Government's Prevention of Violence Against Aboriginal Women Fund; the RCMP Family Violence Fund; the Department of Health Canada; the Department of Justice Canada; the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

Programs at the Liard Aboriginal Women's Society are researched, planned and delivered by the women, families and communities of the Kaska First Nation. The society is assisted by outside resource people, area educators, social workers, women's shelters, victim services programs, the RCMP and other service providers whose focus is non-violence, addictions and trauma recovery.


Territorial service providers; women's shelters; participating town councils.

Other relationships:


Details of Program Evaluation

No evaluation has been completed.

Highlights of Evaluation Findings:


Program Outcomes
Measures of Success:

Success is measured by the reduction of violence against women and children. Success is also measured by the advent of a more collaborative multi-agency approach to violence against women and children.


Introduction of a "response based" practice in the area. The development of a 10 year healing program. Territorial service providers focused on lateral violence, family violence and child abuse issues have come together as a united group to address these issues collectively as a result of this program.


Obtaining funding. Since funding from the Aboriginal Healing Foundation ended, it has been difficult to piece together enough funding to maintain the programs of the Liard Aboriginal Women's Society. Furthermore, it's time consuming to write lengthy proposals with no certainty of receiving funding.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

The program is considered replicable. The organization in question would need to acquire adequate stable funding. They also need to put in the time to bring all stakeholders together. First Nations, service providers, community councils, justice committees, police and other stakeholders should all play a role in researching, planning, designing and delivering an educational/healing program such as Together for Justice on Language, Violence and Responsibility.


Adequate funding and appropriately trained staff are necessary to ensure program success.