Culture and Language Revitalization

Traditional Wellness to Empower Indigenous Families

Haven Family Connections in Saskatoon is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Indigenous families.

Their “Indigenous Family Wellness” initiative, which offers Traditional Parenting programming, began as a pilot program in 2022 and served 42 Indigenous families in the first year. 

Driven by needs participants shared, Haven Family Connections has grown the program to include men’s traditional knowledge programs, skills workshops including drums and ribbon skirts, and healing circles catering to adult men and women survivors of sexual abuse — all of which have waitlists underscoring the pressing demand.

The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund (IRF) supported the expansion of this vital work, granting funding to cover essentials like supplies, food and fees for Knowledge Keepers and Elders involved in the program. 

Acknowledging the impact of colonization and residential schools on family identity and parenting, the program supports families as they grapple with complex trauma and an absence of positive parenting role models. As Western-centric parenting courses and methods failed to meet needs, the Indigenous Family Wellness program turned to Traditional Parenting — the nurturing parenting practices of their ancestors and the pride associated with their heritage – in their quest to preserve family unity.

This project addresses the pressing need for cultural reconnection and healing within communities and families, particularly for at-risk Indigenous parents disconnected from their traditions. Through traditional teachings and healing circles, they were empowered to break the cycle of negative patterns and embrace healthy parenting with cultural guidance and Elder-supported learning.

About Haven Family Connections

Haven Family Connections is an established, non-profit organization dating back to 1976, when it was founded as the Saskatoon Society for the Protection of Children. Over the years, their mission and vision have evolved to offer prevention-focused services prioritizing family preservation. Some of their programs include the Haven Kids’ House, which supports 700-1000 kids from approximately 500 families annually, and the Haven Family Support program, which offers services to around 300 families annually. 

To learn more about Haven Family Connections and their work, visit their website at

https://www.havenfamilyconnections.com/

Diocese of Saskatoon – Granting Committee