The Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Program is designed to provide supports to women and their children who are experiencing domestic violence. It includes preventing family violence through community awareness, education and peer counselling; providing crisis intervention for women and children at risk; and addressing underlying mental/emotional issues that contribute to violence and dysfunction. The Native Women's Sharing Circle promotes healing and wellness among women and provides a safe environment for sharing.
The Strategy has designed a framework to improve Aboriginal Health by establishing programs and services that deliver culturally-appropriate and community-based primary care, health education and outreach; support crisis intervention teams (to respond to high rates of suicide) and substance/solvent abuse treatment centres. This framework includes mechanisms to improve access to health services by establishing translation services, out-patient medical hostels, and health advocacy, and by identifying legislative, policy and program barriers which affect Aboriginal health.
In addition, the Strategy promotes networking and integration. This includes promoting co-operation among communities to maximize use of resources. Linkages among Aboriginal programs and between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities are encouraged to enhance continuity and reduce duplication. An Information Clearing House has been established to collect and disseminate Aboriginal-specific information on health and family violence. A co-ordination office has been established to facilitate recruitment of professional staff for Aboriginal Communities in health and social services fields.
We have speakers that we invite to share with us about our culture and traditions. The topic of the speakers presentations are from the request of the women who decide what is most important for them to learn about. We have a sharing circle that is confidential. We us our sweet grass, cedar, tobacco, and sage in our circle in a respectable manner. We also plan a wellness retreat day for the summer.
Some of the topics and activities also include: Self care, Healthy Boundaries, Budgeting, Crafts, Addictions, Diabetes, Nutrition, Stress Management, Family Violence Prevention, Conflict Resolution, Pot Luck, Fun, Painting, Scrap booking memories, Recipes, Feelings, Exercise, and Friendships. the circle is held on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m.
For more information about Aboriginal Healing and Wellness please view http://www.ahwsontario.ca/