Categories associated with best practice:
Men in their communities trained to speak up against violence.
Provide community-based facilitators to train men in their own communities to speak-up to end violence.
Kizhaay Anishnaabe Niin is an initiative created to provide community-based facilitators to train men in their own communities to speak-up to end violence. It is an initiative created to provide an opportunity for communities to engage Aboriginal men and youth in understanding violence against Aboriginal women and support them in joining together to end the violence. Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin is an Ojibway phrase that translates to “I Am a Kind Man”. The Initiative empowers men to take responsibility to stand up against all forms of violence towards Aboriginal women. This is accomplished through the training of volunteer Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin facilitators who promote the Kizhaay Anishinaabe Campaign in Ontario.
At a time when violence is invading whole communities “I Am a Kind Man” reminds us that violence has never been an acceptable part of Aboriginal culture. Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin facilitators embrace the Seven Grandfather Teachings (wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility, and truth) to work toward ending violence against Aboriginal women.
Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin is designed to offer Aboriginal men and youth a safe place to begin to understand their roles and responsibilities to end violence against Aboriginal young girls and women. It recognizes the challenges youth and men face and encourages opportunities for them to reconnect to their traditional roles within families and communities. It provides a supportive, wholistic model for community healing and can be easily adapted to suit individual communities.
The Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin –I am a Kind Man- Program Sites are as follows:
- Atlohsa Native Family Healing Services Inc. – London
- Enaahtig Healing Lodge & Learning Centre – Victoria Harbour
- North Bay Indian Friendship Centre – North Bay
- Thunder Bay Indian Friendship Centre – Thunder Bay
- Ininew Friendship Centre – Cochrane
These sites provide one-on-one peer counseling with a specific focus on peer support and creating stability, group counseling in the form of 12 week programming (4 cycles per year), Advocacy and Referrals, Networking with Probation & Parole Officers, courts, associated main stream and Aboriginal specific agencies, correctional institutions and other services for Aboriginal men and community education in the form of presentations, community based activities, correctional institutions.
The OFIFC has launched two successful campaigns to help community’s identity the issue of violence by using models that are culturally competent. The Kanawayhitowin (Taking Care of Each Other’s Spirit) campaign for women, families and communities and the Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin Campaign. These campaigns are culture based approaches that provide wholistic tools and strategies to address the issues of violence against women. Both campaigns are grounded in traditional Indigenous teachings that compliment and are strengthened by recognizing the male and female roles as cooperative and intertwined.
The Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin initiative began as a partnership between the OFIFC and the White Ribbon Campaign. The OFIFC has been actively promoting health and healing among urban Aboriginal people since 1973. The White Ribbon Campaign was started in 1991 by a group of Canadian men to raise awareness of issues around, and to bring an end to, violence against women. The project is currently a stand-alone program administered by the OFIFC.
In 2005 the OFIFC brought together a group of Aboriginal men to provide their perspective on what would work best to encourage other men to speak out against all forms of violence against Aboriginal women. As a result of that activity, a series of five culturally appropriate posters and a “Toolkit for Action” was developed. The overall Initiative has two components. The first component was intended to develop curriculum and training materials (based on the “Toolkit for Action”), and identify candidates and train men (and a number of women) as facilitators to address issues of violence against Aboriginal women. The second component of the Initiative was designed to implement Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin at the community level once facilitators had been trained.
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