Family Violence Initiative
COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS
INTERACTIONS WITHIN COMMUNITIES
Raising Awareness in Broader Community
- Program name:
Community Action Research Team (CART)
Tlicho Community Services Agency
Behchokö, Northwest Territories
- Target Group:
- Contact Name:
Mason Mantla, Coordinator CART
867-932-3000 ext: 223
The program started in 2006 and is ongoing. Its size and scope has increased over time.
- Goals & Objectives:
To provide services to the people of the communities, and support them in the task of strengthening their families, while promoting the knowledge and skills they need to survive today; to model the values they need to live in harmony with their families, communities and the land; to reflect the importance of the Tlicho (Tåîchô) culture and community; and to use the strengths of the Tlicho Community Services Agency (TCSA) and the assets of the community to deliver these activities in a positive, affirming manner.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
The program offers Ts'e Whii Ts'e Daa Camps (rites of puberty camps) that are held on the land and teach traditional rites of passage. They are of one week's duration and camp topics include: stages through puberty for boys and girls, healthy relationships/communication, survival skills on the land, safe sexuality, nutrition, making healthy choices, suicide prevention and awareness, substance abuse, referral and resources, as well as on the land experience and traditional practices. All of the programming is based on, and promotes, traditional Tlicho (Tåîchô) values through the inclusion of the language, and Elders who provide cultural and ceremonial teachings.
- Components of program:
The CART program includes the following components and activities: an annual youth conference focusing on health issues such as suicide, creating healthy relationships; there is a men's wellbeing group; a parenting conference; and parenting workshops. The program operates a Youth Safe House which is open during holidays at the Friendship Centre. The services are also outreach based as the program operates a Weekend Outreach Van. While driving around, the staff gives out kits (hats, food, water etc) and give rides and support to people in need of assistance. There is also a Tlicho Film Program that creates videos discussing health issues; and the program hosts the Sunshine Film Festival in four Tlicho communities. At this festival students are taught how to use video equipment and produce their own videos. To date, each participating school has now produced two videos (5 schools = 10 videos in total).
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided on site at the facility and at various locations in or near the community.
The funding is provided by the Tlicho First Nation Government; Brighter Futures (the Department of Health Canada); the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (the Department of Health Canada); and several foundations (unspecified).
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
CART is guided by the Healing Wind Grassroots Advisory Committee, a group of Tlicho (Tåîchô) service providers working in child and family services, education and healthcare, along with an Elder. They ensure the relevance, ethical and cultural appropriateness of CART activities.
The CART program works with all Tlicho schools, health care centres, adult education programs, social service agencies, addiction treatment programs and the Tlicho First Nation Government.
- Other relationships:
Details of Program Evaluation
An evaluation has been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
Information from the evaluation has not yet been received.
- Measures of Success:
Success is measured based on the feedback from program participants. It is also measured based on the improved health and well-being of community members, lower crime rates, participation levels in programs, Elder involvement, and attendance levels at workshops and festivals.
The CART program has been successful in engaging and empowering Tlicho youth, parents and Elders. Video and media have provided a powerful tool for self expression, information sharing, community team building and cultural pride.
The Tlicho communities have many problems to solve: lateral violence, STIs, diabetes, family violence, addictions and the intergenerational trauma resulting from residential schools.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
The program is considered replicable. It is transportable to any community. CART runs numerous programs so funding has to be in place for each program. Allocate enough time to apply for various funding grants as it can be time consuming. It is very effective to involve teens in the design and production of videos about issues that are important to them. Always include the Elders if possible and make traditional values a focus.
Sufficient funding and community involvement are necessary for the program to be a success.
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