“Finding Home™ is one of the best projects I know of. It helps people feel and have self respect so they can have that ability to overcome challenges and shortcomings. It builds that sense of belonging and inclusion for everyone, laying the foundation for reconciliation on the legislative level. ”
~ Chief Robert Joseph, Gwa Gwa Enuk First Nations and Reconciliation Ambassador
The Aboriginal focus group.
Leaders from local Aboriginal communities share 5 important recommendations for scaling up the Finding Home™ program. These insights are applicable to any and all community capacity-building programs hoping to work with Aboriginal communities and support elders’ leadership.
1. Create an atmosphere of cultural safety.
Origin stories, spirituality, respect and dignity should be woven into the program framework. Ensure facilitators are aware of the unique complexity of issues facing Aboriginal individuals, communities and networks, and that a support system is in place to address any traumas that may be uncovered during the program.
2. Build bridges between communities.
Bring Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities together, restoring relationships between and within groups. Let the geographical space shape conversations, creating a space for diverse groups from other cultures to ‘find home’ on Aboriginal land.
3. Embrace the wisdom of older generations.
Include elder champions and guides. Connecting the elders’ wisdom, energy and community resources with the Finding Home™ program could lead to deeper experiences for participants, and restore dignity to the elders, who thrive by continuing to contribute to their communities.
4. Connect with existing resources and programs.
Build on the work that is already being done. Identify partnership opportunities with other community initiatives, such as Comprehensive Community Planning, Health Planning and traditional healing and circles.
5. Make it inclusive and accessible.
Consider the diverse groups that could participate, from urban dwellers to youth in care. Include role models of all gender identities, and reduce barriers (like transportation and location) as much as possible.
Is your organization interested in supporting participant-led initiatives that build stronger relationships between communities?
Our flagship program, Finding Home™, builds self-reliance, leadership and abuse resistance among isolated and culturally diverse elders.
If you would like to learn more about hosting a Finding Home™ program, email email@example.com or call 604.879.2402.
Please share this article with anyone you think might grow from this knowledge.