Support for Indigenous women leaving correctional facilities
IAAW has an agreement with Corrections Canada to provide a female cultural advisor as part of the Women’s Self Management Program offered through Edmonton Parole. IAAW team also encourages and advocates for Aboriginal women in Edmonton, as well as providing guidance, alternative resources and services. Here are the objectives IAAW hopes to achieve:
- The need for resiliency, success, support, and reinforcement of the idea that women can be the catalyst to inspire change or perspectives in a community.
- The second aim is to work toward achieving Social Justice within a larger multicultural community by helping to provide safe spaces for individual growth.
Aboriginal Self-Management Program Information
The program offers a 12-week program for Women entering the community, after being released from federal . The program is a condition of release.
- Activities Undertaken:
Develop a service plan based on each participant’s unique needs (the Elder contributes to a larger plan led by a facilitator)
- Host a Woman’s Circle to connect with women and build/enhance the relationship with the participants. The group meets once a week for 12 weeks.
- Provide path-finding assistance for women to help them transition to life after incarceration. The women are typically incarcerated from two to eight years.
- Provide spiritual and cultural teachings to participants
- Work with community organizations to better meet the needs of Indigenous women
- Working with courts to get visitation with Children. Attend the supervised visits.
- Attend Parole hearings, as a support person in the community.
- Meeting with Judicator of Residential Schools
Training inside the correctional facility is valuable and when the women are in the community, that’s when “real life” happens. The teachings are not just theory, they have to be applied and repetition is the key. Eventually it all comes together; their Circle of Support is strengthened and what they learned in program is incorporated into their daily lives.