FINDING HOME™ Dialogues on Elder Financial Abuse
FORGING LASTING IMPACT WITH EXPONENTIAL RESULTS
Our process involved a two pronged strategy: 1) Building capacity within immigrant services and Neighbourhood Houses; and 2) increasing awareness amoungst the seniors themselves through empowering their leadership to solve this complex social problem.
We worked with 40 seniors from South Asian Punjabi, Afghan, Iranian and Multi-cultural communities. Through the Finding Home™ process these seniors generated several self-organizing projects that they continue to lead in their communities 4 years later! A sample of these projects include
- Seniors Speakers Bureau
- Video Project
- New South Asian Punjabi Celebration called Sisters and Daughters Day
- South Asian Punjabi skit
- Afghan Puppet Show
- Workshop for bank staff to protect seniors’ money
Within its first two years, this project reached and impacted over 2.5 million people.
Participating Neighbourhood Houses and immigrant service providers report participants becoming community leaders and continuing the work long after the program was completed. An added bonus is that all participating organizations (staff and volunteers) are now more able to respond effectively to disclosures of abuse and help prevent elder financial abuse.
I have learned a lot and am inspired and fascinated. Now I want to take this information and use it with other seniors to get down to the ‘nitty gritty.’ The empowerment of seniors, especially woman, needs to start at a young age.
~ Bette Rumble, Participant
I liked this program so much. It was fantastic. It was good for this group to share their stories and their ideas. We shared our problems so that together we can find a way to solve them. The Finding Home™ program could help newcomers from suffering difficulties.
~ Sharpira, Participant
I feel more self-confidence and empowered to handle any situation. I am also excited that the Daughters and Sisters celebration is becoming a reality. I went in thinking I would just be sharing my sob story but I realize now that it is not a sob story but it is changing into a happy story now that I have changed my attitude and I think differently. ~ Gurbachan, Participant
I am so thankful for the Finding Home™ program. When it started, we were not so empowered and now we are. This is helpful for my community because if someone needs information I will promptly let them know the information. ~ Mohinder
We worked with the community to identify key stakeholders, explore the root cause of the problem and design a transparent collaborative decision making process. Through a values-based peer review process, the community moved from conflict to collaboration and successfully chose an Agency Lead for their Better at Home Program. As a result, stakeholders reported greater collaboration to achieve their common goal to serve seniors better.
“Jessie is very passionate about her work and has the capacity to deal with complex and challenging situations. She is a great facilitator and has the ability to enable multiple voices to be heard in complicated processes.”
Christien Kaaij, United Way of the Lower Mainland
While diversity is widely embraced in our communities, surveys show that many individuals still believe that people prefer to be with others from the same ethnic and / or generational group. It is more important than ever to build meaningful relationships across traditional boundaries.
That’s why the Vancouver Foundation approached Jessie Sutherland with a contract for the design and facilitation of a leadership development training for their Neighbourhood Small Grants partner project leaders entitled, Embracing Diversity – Our Neighbourhoods, Our Home.
Drawing from the Vancouver Foundation’s core mission of sustainable community-building, Jessie designed a workshop that honed the skills and practices essential for the development of trust, belonging, inclusion and diversity.
Sixty participants benefited from learning skills and sharing best practices to convene diversity, create a welcoming environment in which diversity could thrive, and ensure accessibility for people from different backgrounds. The workshop also modelled and taught the skills necessary to develop quality trust-based relationships across individual differences through group work, discussion, presentations and a hands-on application activity.
In order to ensure that the skills and practices learned during the workshop were fully integrated into their long-term work, Jessie also provided follow-up resources. These helped participants continue to hone their skills to better adapt to an ever-changing world.
“Jessie Sutherland’s four day training was extremely practical. Jessie Sutherland helped me see how the analysis and strategies applied to my personal life and relationships as well as to macro settings. She has a great combination of expertise and caring that make her subject come alive! I am using the concepts and skills in my role as director of a charity” ~ Charlotte Kerelko, MSW, USA- Director of Kids Closet of Duluth
“Jessie’s course educated me on the meaning of worldviews and reconciliation and gave me insight into the importance of how internal chcilationange can affect my relationships, my community and my place in the world.” ~ Sandra Lee Aldis, Gabriola Island
Dedicated to fostering quality Aboriginal – non-Aboriginal relationship, in 2004, Jessie Sutherland noticed that there were many innovative reconciliation initiatives across Canada whose leadership were often faced with isolation and community resistance. As a result, she founded and facilitated the first national reconciliation public conversations project, reaching First Nations, government, church and other grassroots citizens and leaders from across Canada and around the world.
Hosting monthly teleconferences on topics such as Residential School Reconciliation; Newcomer – Indigenous Relations; and World Viewing Skills For Reconciliation broke isolation, built the beginning of a robust reconciliation movement and provided a valuable public education service.
Worldview Strategies Inc. donated these audio recordings and summary reports to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation National Archives.
“Jessie’s Teleconferences are so important in supporting the emergence of a new relationship based on mutuality, peace, justice, and ultimately reconciliation. From these teleconferences, I have built new partnerships that are resulting in concrete actions to better Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal relationships and support the healing and empowerment of Aboriginal peoples. During these calls many people have been reached, touched, and moved to action in a short amount of time. These calls are a critical component of what needs to happen for true reconciliation to be possible.
~ Chief Robert Joseph,
Hereditary Chief of the Gwa Gwa Enuk First Nation and Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada
Your mission to strengthen the network really works for each one of us…to gain support, wisdom/knowledge, and courage to visualize our dream/projects. It was a quite learning experience. It became another opening-eye moment for me.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Yoshie Ikema, Okinawa, Japan
GLOBAL INDIGENOUS DIALOGUE IN SWITZERLAND
Indigenous people from around the world regularly gather in Switzerland to build international networks, strengthen cultural roots, and share tools for self determination, healing and ultimately reconciliation. Jessie Sutherland was invited to share and facilitate a session on her new framework for reconciliation.
“I was inspired after taking Jessie Sutherland’s workshop. Her exercises and teachings about “indicators for false reconciliation” confirmed for me that the reconciliation my friends and I have been striving to achieve for our people and conflict-torn region on the Indo-Myanmar border is rooted at the right depth and based on the right values and principles. I highly recommend this workshop for anyone serious about genuine dialogue,healing and reconciliation. The world needs such conviction, faith, and commitment.”
~ Niketu Iralu, Nagaland, Northeast India, Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation, New Delhi
Engaging and energetic, Jessie Sutherland personalizes global challenges through enabling a true understanding of reconciliation and conflict tranformation. I left her workshop with a greater understanding of how to bring about successful reconciliations at both the personal and political levels. Jessie’s uncanny talent for teasing out self-realizations will undoubtedly transform your approach to resolving conflicts.
~ Nabila Alibhai , Kenya
STUDENT EXCHANGES TO FOSTER UNDERSTANDING
STUDENT EXCHANGE VISITS CANADA (SEVEC) hired Jessie Sutherland and Katsitsionni Fox to design and facilitate Cross Cultural training for parents and students embarking on Aboriginal – Non-Aboriginal Student Exchanges. The success of this initiative led to 20,000 students receiving this training annually.
Jessie Sutherland was the lead Diversity instructor in our Police Recruit Training Program. The topic of Diversity has historically been one of the most challenging ones facing our instructors. Jessie was able to draw on her unique experience building inclusive communities to develop and deliver an innovative four-stage values-based approach to Diversity. She turned one of the most challenging topics in our police training program into one of our most effective.
Jessie’s approach to the topic of Diversity was based on an adult-learning model. She took the time to get to know the backgrounds of the participants in order to provide the most valuable learning experience possible. She had the recruits begin by exploring their own attitudes and behaviors so each recruit could reflect on aspects of their own lives to learn to apply the practical skills and theoretical knowledge required for the cross-cultural problem solving, communication, and networking that is so important in all aspects of police work. This approach brought real meaning to each recruit’s learning experience.
I made it a point to sit in on Jessie’s sessions because they were so interesting. I learned a lot about each recruit because they were often discussing how teaching points pertained to them individually. I still use Jessie’s theories pertaining to Diversity in my own teaching sessions, appropriately referenced of course.
~ Don Walden,
Program Director, Police Recruit Training,
JIBC Police Academy
See the Blog Post
“I love the way Jessie thinks. Her use of metaphor creates pictures that explain and open question for the meanings of “WORD”, then her definitions that further detail that picture. Her energy and spirituality radiates crossing all cultural or life experience barriers.” ~ Mary Braken, Fairview Community Restorative Justice
“I really enjoyed how Jessie engaged the group in discussion rather than just lecturing, in order for there to be change there is a need for discussion. I felt that the ideas expressed by Jessie, as well as facilitating though provoking dialogue. This presentation was very inspiring and very much appreciated… Thanks.” ~Logan Pahl, Community Conflict Resolution
“I really enjoyed the keynote and the morning address! You provided the opportunity to share and …you brought the whole emphasis of Fostering a restorative worldview down to our level. It was neat that humour and laughter played a key part in your presentation.” ~ Lance Scout
Within 9 months, we partnered with funders, wrote a discussion paper, designed a new dialogue process, wrote a workbook and hosted a Finding Home™ Collaborative Learning Day where over 150 people attended from across Canada and from diverse sectors: street involved Aboriginal elders, newcomers, youth, seniors, artists, non profit, government, and academics.
During the dialogue, participants report expanding awareness of multi-cultural perspectives, as well increasing their personal and community effectiveness in responding to social issues through learning and applying a values-based problem solving tool.
“This is the most democratic experience that I have had in the 30 years that I have lived in Canada.” ~ Gloria Diaz, Participant
“The highlight for me was feeling uncomfortable and out of place when I entered – feeling part of the whole when I left.” ~ Participant
Justice Institute of BC
Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye are religious leaders in northern Nigeria who, after years of violence, reconciled their religious differences and founded the Interfaith Mediation Centre to train the next generation of civic peace activists. Their journey, as well as their organization’s successful transformation of relationships between Muslims and Christians throughout Nigeria, were documented in the film The Imam and The Pastor by FLTfilms.
The Justice Institute of British Columbia hosted the screening of the documentary, with both Ashafa and Wuye in attendance. The duo participated in a Q&A session for which JIBC needed a facilitator with the right combination of local and global expertise.
Jessie Sutherland’s experience facilitating reconciliation workshops for Sierra Leoneans, her work on indigenous reconciliation and a bestselling book on the same topic made her the ideal candidate.
Working alongside Chris and Anne Hartnell from Initiatives of Change, local reverend Paul Ndukwe, and an intercultural choir who wove together First Nations, Muslim and Christian chants, Jessie led Wuye and Ashafa through a memorable discussion about the far-reaching effects of interfaith and intercultural conflict mediation.
Jessie’s expert guidance of this event, designed with the JIBC’s corporate mission in mind, led to subsequent collaborations. JIBC recruited her as a panelist for their popular professional development training on new approaches to conflict resolution, as well as an instructor for conflict resolution trainings and diversity training for community police.
Testimonials from JIBC workshop participants:
““Since Jessie Sutherland’s training, I am making more of an effort to help fellow employees ‘connect the dots’ in terms of understanding organizational policies and how our actions impact the well being of our company and the people we serve.”
““I am currently dealing with a difficult employee complaint and since this training, a few pennies dropped about where this person may be coming from.”
““My entire team was deeply moved by this training. We all softened and remembered the crucial importance of walking softly with one another.”