Indigenous Children’s Wellness Program

Program Coordinators: Kyanna Keeshig

Contact Email(s):

Phone: 519-371-1147 ext. 237


Program Goal

To mitigate the impact of witnessing violence and provide urban Indigenous children with tools to support positive development and life choices as they grow. Provide Indigenous parents/caregivers, community partners and organizations with the tools to begin designing an effective community response to ending violence against women and children.


  • In a safe one-to-one environment, children will gain an understanding of what family violence is and learn how to identify its affects.
  • Through a group culture-based approach, create an environment of kinship to increase and foster a sense of pride in each child.
  • Parents/caregivers will have increased understanding of the impact of family violence from their children’s perspective.
  • Increase in healthy and respectful relationships between children, parents, caregivers, siblings and their peers.
  • Increase participation of community partners, members and organizations by providing tools and resources to develop effective community responses to address family violence.

Program Activities

One-to-One Counselling will provide a safe place for the children by attending to their needs, with the additional resources/supports of advocacy* and referrals.  The children will gain an understanding of what family violence is and how it affects them.

One-to-One Family Centred Counselling will provide parents/caregivers an opportunity to learn about the impact of family violence from their children’s perspective and the children will be able to communicate what they are thinking and feeling.

Age-Appropriate, Culture Based Group Sessions will be offered in four to twelve week blocks, to create an environment of kinship and to foster a sense of pride in each child. The children will be encouraged to support one another in these sessions and will advance together toward healthier lifestyles and choices.

Family Group Workshops will provide children and parents/caregivers who have been exposed to/or experienced family violence will attend family group workshops. They will work towards regaining trust and rebuilding their relationships. Additional resources/supports will be offered, as appropriate to the parents/caregivers and children.

Community Capacity Building will entail establishing connections and linkages between families, organizations and communities in ongoing work to promote and sustain the wellbeing of Indigenous children and families. Activities could include program promotion and training/workshops and partnership and relationship establishment and retention.

*Advocacy could involve the Friendship Centre worker attending meetings as the Indigenous representative on behalf of the child/caregiver as requested. Ensuring the voice of the child/caregiver is heard and respected. The Representative will attend meetings with other groups such as local CAS, local school(s), housing corporations and case conferencing to ensure the needs of the child/caregiver are being addressed in a culturally appropriate manner.

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