Our Centre embraces Aboriginal traditional values and cultures in order to heal the generational scars of colonialism and residential schools. Aboriginal healing methods are used to help women and their children achieve stability and initiate the process of healing.
The Native Women’s Transition Centre provides long-term safe housing to Aboriginal women and their children who are struggling to make life positive changes and escape poverty, homelessness, addictions, violence and other systemic issues. Since opening our doors, the Native Women’s Transition Centre has offered a safe place for over 20,000 Native women and children.
During their residency, women are encouraged to return to their cultural roots to meet life’s challenges, build on personal gifts and strengths and grow and learn together as women – reclaiming their rightful place in the community.
Our first stage program provides 24/7, long-term residential care and supports to 21 Aboriginal women and their children in an extended family environment. Holistic and comprehensive supports and services are provided to Aboriginal women and their children who are struggling to make life changes and escape from violent and unhealthy situations. In a communal and supportive living arrangement, the residents share in the daily cooking, cleaning and household maintenance activities. Case management services, one-on-one counselling and group programming are provided on a weekly basis. Programs offered are listed as follows:
This program provides after hours crisis and addiction counseling to residents who are on their recovery journey towards a substance/drug free lifestyle. Individual counseling sessions and intervention plans are developed and supported throughout a resident’s stay. Relapse prevention and Addiction programs provide residents with an opportunity to collectively share their past experiences, struggles and healing journeys within a supportive , safe, and culturally relevant learning environment.
The learning program, through an individualized, very flexible approach to upgrading in academic and job-related skills, helps the clients become more confident, self-reliant and employable. Whereas some women enter with a high school diploma, many women require basic and high school upgrading. The curriculum puts personal development and bridging skills such as computer, literacy, writing, reading and mathematics and employment related skills in a context that promotes higher literacy among women.
This program educates moms about the child development stages, the impact of mother and child separations, bonding, positive discipline, and encouraging good behavior. In a safe and supportive group environment, mothers learn to express their emotions and share their personal experiences of family violence and how it has impacted them and their children. The children learn to interact with one another in positive, supportive ways without the use of violence. The Parenting Program continues to provide services for the women, children and youth that live at NWTC and Memengwaa Place. In addition, the program consists of individual counseling and offers various age appropriate groups:
Mother Goose Group – encourages moms to nurture their children thereby creating strong parent/child bonds through songs, rhymes, crafts and snacks.
Compulsive Coping Behavior Program This program is designed to address the negative behaviors that women choose while trying to cope with their emotional feelings and trauma related issues. This program takes a gender-based perspective in helping the women identify the underlying causes of compulsive coping, including colonization, learned behaviours, and distorted beliefs about women’s roles, body image and the effects on self-esteem. The Medicine Wheel philosophy is applied in teaching the women how to integrate physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual activities into their lifestyle. Humor, storytelling, and sharing circles are culturally relevant approaches used in facilitating the sessions.
Women’s Healing / Play Circle
Dealing with the trauma affects of residential school through play and humour is a major emphasis of this program. Utilizing humor to heal, staff engage participants in learning how to express themselves by rediscovering their ability to laugh and play. Elders have an important role in ensuring the success of this program.
Breaking the Silence: For survivors of Childhood Trauma
This program is designed for women who have tragically experienced childhood sexual abuse. The women have an opportunity to share their stories and receive education regarding power and control. The women in this program heal at a deeper level; therefore a screening process is conducted to assess participants’ readiness for the program. This program is offered once a week for ten weeks. Traditional teachings and ceremonies are integrated in the program.
This program provides women with the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities including learning to cook “traditional feasts”, baking, preparing holiday dinners, menu planning and “food handling safety” seminars. Women are also taught basic life skills such as house cleaning, shopping, budgeting, laundry and the importance of personal hygiene.
Family Violence Prevention
This program is dedicated to helping women and children heal from the effects of family violence through awareness, education, one on one support and cultural teachings.
Our second stage housing facility provides an independent living, safe environment for Aboriginal women and children who have experienced family violence. This semi-furnished apartment facility accommodates 7 families and a live-in house mom. Residency can be up to 1 year, with extensions granted based on need. Services and supports such as traditional teachings, one one one counselling and group supports are provided by the outreach/support worker to residents. Memengwa residents can also access NWTC’s supports and programs such as the Children’s, Addiction and Trauma counselling services and Learning Program.
The following programs are offered on a weekly basis to residents and community women:
Resident Healing Circles
Weekly circles are offered to Memengwaa Residents. Residents come together as a group to share their struggles and their successes in a supportive and culturally relevant environment. Residents have an opportunity to identify and direct their own learning needs by identifying relevant topic areas such as parenting and/or conflict resolution. Residents are also provided with family recreational and cultural activities to encourage healthy lifestyle and well-being.
Community Healing Circles
Weekly circles are offered to former residents and/or community women who require the ongoing supports of a women’s group. The Community Healing Circle Program provides the women with an opportunity to establish a supportive network with other community women who have shared similar life experiences. Women who attend the program are provided with an opportunity to learn from each other’s success stories and struggles and take part in cultural teachings, ceremonies and outside community celebrations together.
Kihiw Iskewock (Eagle Women’s) Lodge