Family Violence Initiative
COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS
Healing and Renewal of Family Roles and Responsibilities
- Program name:
The Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre (Spirit of Peace Program)
Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre
- Target Group:
- Contact Name:
Diane Redsky, Executive Director
The organization was begun in 1984 and one of the first programs offered was the Spirit of Peace Programming.
- Goals & Objectives:
To help in the healing of the individual by providing a safe and supportive space for individual and family healing, reducing vulnerability to violence and abuse.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
The program uses a sharing circle format for interactions and also employs the Medicine Wheel as a tool of understanding. There are also other programs offered by the centre that do not operate separately but rather as part of the larger whole. For instance, there are ceremonies performed and there are sweat lodges and medicine picking opportunities that are open to the participants of the program to be a part of, as part of the larger offerings of the centre.
- Components of program:
The program provides open and closed groups that are specific to Aboriginal women, as well as men and children. The open groups are open to anyone's attendance while the closed group requires pre-registration and acceptance. The program provides counselling, advocacy, referrals, cultural and spiritual healing practices which allow examination of the reasons behind violence in the family and against Aboriginal women. It also looks to deal with an individual in a whole way by providing information and skills in a safe environment, and examines the effects of colonization, residential schools and various socio-economic factors to assist in helping clients discover some of the reasons why there are in challenging life situations.
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided on site at the facility.
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
The Centre has a strong volunteer program and strong connections to the communities that it serves. They employ an open-door approach to feedback as well as the usual evaluation forms that various programs, including the Spirit of Peace Program, uses. The Board is made up of community members who have taken membership in the organization and many of the employees are drawn from the volunteer base. The centre and the program are in constant communication with the community as they are a part of the community on a direct level.
Community Led Organizations United Together (CLOUT); Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
- Other relationships:
Details of Program Evaluation
No evaluation has been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
- Measures of Success:
Success is measured against the positive impact the program has had on the lives of its clients and how clients have been able to make positive and healthy choices with regard to how they are living their lives.
The building of natural relationships within families helping clients access needed resources
The challenge of having to operate within standardized reporting mechanisms makes it difficult for the program to create programming that suits specific individuals or communities.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
The program is considered replicable. There must be constant input from and communication with the community.
Adequate funding, facility space and properly trained and knowledgeable staff are required to ensure program success.
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