The Healing Journey:
Family Violence Prevention in
Aboriginal Communities
Les sentiers de la guérison
Nepisimkewey Pemkenikn
Nuhsuhkmone Kikehewik
The Healing Journey:
Family Violence Prevention in
Aboriginal Communities
Les sentiers de la guérison
Nepisimkewey Pemkenikn
Nuhsuhkmone Kikehewik Awt
The Healing Journey
Family Violence Prevention in
Aboriginal Communities
A joint initiative of:
Gignoo Transition House Inc.
Public Legal Education and
Information Service of NB
The Healing Journey
A Word About the Project Partners
Gignoo Transition House Inc. is the only Aboriginal
women’s shelter in New Brunswick. Gignoo was founded
in in 1991 by the New Brunswick Native Indian Women’s
Council, and opened off-reserve in Fredericton in 1992.
Gignoo means “Our House” in both the Mi’kmaq and
Maliseet languages.
Public Legal Education and Information Service of New
Brunswick (PLEIS-NB) is a non-profit charitable
organization established in 1989 to develop bilingual law
education and information resources for the public.
The Healing Journey
Working Group Partners
NB Aboriginal Women’s Council
NB Aboriginal Peoples’ Council
Health & Wellness, Woodstock First Nation
Child & Family Services, Woodstock First Nation
NB Coalition of Transition Houses
NB Advisory Council on the Status of Women
Women’s Issues Branch, Executive Council Office
RCMP J Division:Community Policing & Aboriginal Policing
Codiac RCMP - Victim Services
Fredericton Sexual Assault Crisis Centre
Fredericton Native Friendship Centre
Union of New Brunswick Indians
NB Department of Family and Community Services
NB Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat
The Healing Journey
Justice Canada
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Canadian Heritage
Mounted Police Foundation
Status of Women Canada
NB Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat
New Brunswick Department of Justice and
Consumer Affairs
• Executive Council, Women’s Issues Branch
• New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of
• New Brunswick Department of Intergovernmental
The Healing Journey
Origin of the Project
• ‘Creating Healthy Personal Relationships: An
Information Booklet for Aboriginal Women’
(funded by Justice Canada) – published in 2005 –
a joint project of Gignoo and PLEIS.
• Overwhelmingly positive response to this booklet
and demand for culturally-sensitive and relevant
family violence prevention materials for
Aboriginal communities in N.B.
• Decision was made to apply for funding and
strike a working group to help develop these
materials – and more.
The Healing Journey
Need for the Project
• Statistics Canada reports that the rates of family violence
among First Nations women and men are higher than nonaboriginal couples. Aboriginal women 25 - 44 years are 5
times more likely to die of violence.
• National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence
(“NACAFV”) reports that Aboriginal children witness violence
more often than non-Aboriginal children.
• First Nation and Inuit women in particular experience higher
rates of family violence than non-Aboriginal women. In 2004,
research showed that Aboriginal women were three and half
times more likely to suffer some form of spousal violence than
non-Aboriginal women. (Statistics Canada, Juristat, Catalogue
No. 85-002-XIE, Vol. 26, no. 3)
The Healing Journey
Need for the Project – cont’d
• Of the Aboriginal women who have experienced family
violence, 87% were victims of physical abuse and 57% were
sexually assaulted. (Health Canada)
• 21% of Aboriginal people reported that a current or ex-spouse
had assaulted them in the past five years, compared to 6% of
the non-Aboriginal population (Statistics Canada, Juristat,
Catalogue No. 85-002-XIE, Vol. 26, no. 3)
• Almost 1/2 of Aboriginal victims of spousal violence
experienced potentially life-threatening violence at the hands
of a current or ex-partner compared with 31% of nonAboriginal victims of spousal violence. (National Aboriginal
Circle Against Family Violence)
The Healing Journey
Community Feedback
• Gignoo and PLEIS met with our Working
Group to brainstorm content.
• Commissioned a “needs assessment” by
Han Martin Associates to find out what NB
Aboriginal communities would like to see
in a family violence prevention toolkit.
The Healing Journey
We were told ….
Take A Holistic Approach to Violence
When someone is being abused, it
harms the victim, their family, and the
entire community. Everyone feels the
negative consequences of abuse.
Everyone should have the opportunity to
become part of the solution.
The Healing Journey
Goals of the Project
• Develop a “Toolkit” with a range of culturally
sensitive information for addressing violence
prevention in Aboriginal communities
• Create website to share information and to act as
a forum for dialogue and sharing promising
• Host a conference to launch the kit and website
and foster violence prevention “champions”
• Offer training and information sessions
throughout New Brunswick First Nations
The Healing Journey
Progress to Date
Toolkit completed and being distributed
Website – English site available and French under construction
Electronic versions of materials in the toolkit
Links and other publications for family violence prevention for Aboriginal
communities - both on- and off-reserve
Assists individuals and service providers to create responses to family violence both
in terms of crisis intervention, public education and prevention
Provides a forum for individuals and communities to share their family violence
prevention experiences, or to share their own personal journeys to a violence free
The Healing Journey
Progress to Date
Conference – October 4-6, 2006, Fredericton
Over 160 Aboriginal women and men, youth, elders, Aboriginal
& non-Aboriginal service providers attended the conference
Workshops on dating violence and self-esteem building with Inuk
singer/songwriter Susan Aglukark.
Students from Eel Ground First Nation performed award winning
play on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
Students from local high schools performed a dating violence skit
called “An Aboriginal Youth’s Cry for Help”.
The Healing Journey
Where We Are Today
• Evaluation of the Healing Journey Process
• Promoting the National Tool Kit across
Canada as we redesigned the NB Tool Kit
to a National perspective
• Beginning process of community training
and animation sessions in NB
– Using the Healing Journey materials
– Stimulate local actions to address relationship
violence in Aboriginal communities
The Healing Journey
Objectives of Today’s Session
Gain practical knowledge of how to use the
Healing Journey Tool Kit in your community
Provide an opportunity to discuss strategies
with Gignoo staff, other service providers
and champions on how to address
relationship violence in culturally appropriate
ways within Aboriginal communities and
Have a chance to network with service
providers working in this field as well as
The Healing Journey
Contents of Toolkit
Toolkit includes:
User’s Guide
Fact Sheets
Family Violence Resources and Networks
Safety Plans for Aboriginal Women and Children
‘Starting Over: What You Should Know
About Family Law Matters’ booklet
– Skit: ‘An Aboriginal Youth’s Cry for Help’
– Poster, bookmark, decals, postcard and brochures
– Creating a Family Violence Prevention Community
Action Plan (added later)
The Healing Journey
For further information about the
project, please contact
Gignoo Transition House or PLEIS-NB
Gignoo: (506) 458-1236
PLEIS-NB:(506) 453-5369

Interpersonal Relationship Abuse and Violence …