Training & Capacity Development
Capacity building at the community level is a core purpose of this program. The social problems that plague our communities developed over a long history of colonialism. The challenge of undoing the intergenerational legacy of colonization is a daunting one. In addition to learning new approaches to healing and wellness, there is much to be gained by relearning the wisdom of the elders. Our goal is to help staff and community members take charge of their own learning, rather than depending on outsiders to determine the ‘what, when and whom’ of the learning process.
Healing and wellness cannot be separated. There is no sense in healing if we do not have places where we can be well. Our goal is to have each community develop and begin to implement a Community Healing and Wellness Plan that reflects each community’s priorities, is guided by its own vision, and draws on its unique strengths, resources and gifts. The Plan could include such things as community feasts and gatherings, sports and recreation, arts and crafts, land-based activities, and so forth.
Mental Health & Treatment Services
The Four Arrows Regional Health Authority is in the process of taking over responsibility for therapy, traditional medicine and related mental health services from Health Canada. In consultation with the community health teams, our commitment is to seek out the best Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal workers in these fields who will work collaboratively with Four Arrows staff and community workers to enhance existing community services as well as develop helpful alternatives.
Four Arrows RHA supports the use of the sharing circle as a core healing strategy. Sharing circles can assist participants in their efforts to:
heal from grief and loss
develop a sense of self worth and reduce the sense of shame
repair broken relationships
build new relationships
share pleasure and laughter
Four Arrows resource workers can help community staff and volunteers develop skills in leading sharing circles.
Responding To Crisis
Four Arrows staff will assist the Island Lake Health Authorities in developing effective crisis response plans. The goal is to provide community workers with the resources they need to support individuals and families who have recently experienced trauma, as well as to reduce the risk of further trauma.
Focus On Youth
Our children and youth often experience a great deal of stress. As a result, they are at risk for alcohol and substance abuse, gang involvement and suicide attempts.
We will work with communities to develop strategies to meet the social, recreational, emotional and spiritual needs of our children.
Four Arrows staff will assist with organizing regional healing and wellness gatherings and workshops for the purpose of sharing information and insights, making effective use of outside trainers and resource people, and creating opportunities for mutual support between communities.