Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre

Table of Contents

Resolution Health Support Sector

Naandwedizwin-We-chi-hi-tita (Healing Ourselves – Helping Each Other) Program

Naandwidizwin-We-chi-hi-tita (Healing Ourselves–Helping Each Other) program continues to develop and provide the much needed services to residential school former students (survivors) and their families (intergenerational). This community-based initiative, now a program, takes a holistic approach in addressing the immediate, ongoing, and long-term healing processes of the Residential School Survivors and their families (inter-generational) physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. This process has involved, in part, the reclaiming of Aboriginal identity, healing of past traumas, reconciliation with the Church, and acquiring life skills to build a healthier future for themselves and their families.

Due to the infliction and trauma experienced by so many of the former students of the Indian Residential School System, our programming looks at a restoration (making things right) with each IRSS former student by offering a combination of opportunities to fulfill childhood wants/dreams; to offer healing through one on one counselling by a traditional/respected Elder/Resource Persons/Resolution Health Support Worker (RHSW), healing circles. The programming, outings, and activities offer renewed friendships, dare to dream projects; interacting with other IRSS groups; increasing awareness of self and others. This is fulfilled through their educational awareness, cultural and historical recounting sessions; healthy living and lifestyles through physical exercise, nutritious foods, cooking, engaging with others; healthy conversations, know how/when to say No without feeling guilty. In short, the entire programming, activities, and events offer SELF-LOVE and EMPOWERMENT to each participant.

Through various forums including the strategic planning session where the Indian Residential School Survivors (IRSS) and their families had an opportunity to provide feedback on the programs and services delivered in the past year, what works, review best practices, areas of focus going forward, as well as through Council Fire gatherings and client surveys. The IRSS Resolution Health Program Team has ensured community involvement in the design and delivery of the programming and projects. Council Fire Team acknowledges the healing work of each IRSS and their family members, in particular the support that they give to one another. Their participation throughout the program gives them a sense of belonging, evidenced by the increased number of survivors and intergenerational participating in the programs and services.

The programming and projects have definitely solidified the identity of each IRSS and their want to learn their language that is being included in all circles, encouraging the use of Cree, Anishinaabe, and Oneida languages as spoken in everyday situations. Language is also promoted through fun activities as highlighted in the Cree Cultural Week and the community exchange with the Oneida Nation of the Thames community.

Funded by OFIFC and Indigenous Services Canada

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