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 Reintegration of Offenders
- Program name:
Sken:nen A'onsonton (To Become Peaceful Again)
Court of Kahnawake / Mohawk Council of Kahnawake
- Target Group:
Victims of offences (Male / female, of all ages)
- Contact Name:
Jo-Ann Stacey, Interim Coordinator
The program began in January 2000 and is still ongoing. Initial funding was not enough to cover costs of operation. A grant was applied for and received and now the facility employs more individuals to help meet the needs of the community.
- Goals & Objectives:
To provide a safe, secure environment for community members to effectively resolve conflict. The program offers mediation, conflict resolution, restorative justice forums, and peacemaking circles to Kahnawake Mohawk community members who are experiencing situations of conflict within their lives. Through its philosophy and actions, it initiates social responsibility and harmony in Kahnawake, using the values outlined within the Great Law of Peace. The core objective is to implement traditional restorative justice practices of resolving conflict.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
Traditional ways are not forced upon the group. A group may use the talking stick, sweat lodges, eagle feathers, and Bible – whatever the needs of the group may be. The outcome is dependent on what participants want. Ideas come from the circle.
- Components of program:
Sken:nen A'Onsonton has a working relationship with the Court of Kahnawake, Peacekeepers (Kahnawake police force) and prosecutor. The facilitator meets with each individual involved in the conflict to explain the process and how to work together to resolve the conflict. Individuals must take responsibility for their actions. Once all individuals are aware of the process, they come together as a group. If a written document is required after the process, everyone must sign and receive a copy. They can try the process and if it is not working, they can come back for further sessions. It takes as many circle sessions as necessary. Focus is not on the persons involved; it is the act/behaviour that is the focal point.
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided on site at the facility.
Funding provided by: the Department of Justice Canada; and Justice Quebec.
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
The community was initially involved in a consultation project on justice in 1999 which focused on identifying the needs, direction and level of support for improving the level of confidence in the local justice system, use of Alternative Dispute Resolution methods, and the law-making-ratification process.
Court of Kahnawake, Kahnawake Peacekeepers, Community Prevention Task Force, Justice Commission, Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, Kahnawake Shakotiia'takehnhas Community Services, Kateri Memorial Hospital Centre, Kahnawake Survival School, Howard S. Billings High School. St. Willibrord School.
- Other relationships:
Details of Program Evaluation
No evaluation has been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
- Measures of Success:
Success is measured by: the participants resolving their conflicts through the program; the number of people who ask for services and do not have to go to court; and by the increased knowledge at the community level
Main accomplishments are: having influenced policies and procedures of organizations for proactive conflict resolution (instead of going to court, able to resolve conflict within); the acknowledgement of services that Sken:nen A'Onsonton offers; the training of facilitators on how to process and use these skills in their own lives; and successfully utilizing the media to increase public relations of Sken:nen A'Onsonton with the community.
Obtaining funding. Lack of permanent funding makes it difficult to retain skilled, qualified workers.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
The program is considered replicable. Groups must be run according to each individual community's unique needs. Community justice initiatives need to remain community-driven because community members know the values and reality of the local community therefore, are in the optimum position to determine what is best for itsmembers.
Adequate funding would need to be procured to help train staff and ensure program success.
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