Family Violence Initiative
COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS
Access to Justice Services
- Program name:
The Non-Shelter Family Violence and Community Justice Program
The Zhahti Koe Friendship Centre
Fort Providence, Northwest Territories
- Target Group:
Everyone at risk for family violence and crime.
- Contact Name:
Greg Nyuli, Executive Director
There has been a family violence program at the Zhahti Koe Friendship Centre for over 20 years. The current program, the Non-Shelter Family Violence and Community Justice Program, has been running since 2009.
- Goals & Objectives:
To reduce and eliminate family violence and youth crime by providing healthy alternatives, positive role models and reconnecting Elders with clients.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
The program operates by hosting a return to the land type healing camp located at two traditional Dene sites. Healing camps are 7-8 days in length and are staffed by local Elders and resource people. Elders offer their own traditional counselling and teaching of land-based skills. Included in the program are traditional spiritual practices such as drumming, prayers, dances, tending fire and cleansing ceremonies. Each healing camp has a healing lodge, cabins and a cook shack.
- Components of program:
The program works in tandem with the Youth Justice Committee to divert some first time offenders to the camp program. Some offenders whose sentence includes community hours are assigned work at the camps doing maintenance or teaching hunting/trapping or other land skills. Other community groups, such as the school, may rent the camp.
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided both on site at the facility and off site during "on the land" programming.
Funding is provided by the Government of Northwest Territories; the Department of Health; the Department of Social Services; and the Department of Justice.
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
The community of Fort Providence, the Deh Gah Gotie Dene Band, the Zhahti Koe Friendship Centre, the Youth Justice Committee and the local school support the healing camps and assist in maintaining, planning, organizing and utilizing them.
The community of Fort Providence; the Deh Gah Gotie Dene Band; the Youth Justice Committee; and the local school.
- Other relationships:
Details of Program Evaluation
No evaluation has been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
- Measures of Success:
Success is measured by community involvement in the healing camps, lower youth crime rates and lower rates of family violence.
The Non-Shelter Family Violence and Community Justice Program has provided, through its healing camps, a place and a method of helping people heal from family violence, addictions, child abuse and other traumas associated with the legacy of colonialism and residential schools. It has restored the traditional leadership role of local Elders and increased the pride of all Band members.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
The program is considered replicable. Healing camps cannot be built overnight. It takes significant funding, organization and community will power to establish permanent healing camps.
Sufficient funding, land to utilize for camps, and appropriately trained and knowledgeable staff are necessary to ensure program success.
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