Walking in two worlds – Healing Through Cultural Workshops

The Children, Family, and Community Services (CFCS) branch within Catholic Social Services (CSS) provides support and housing for high-risk youth who have faced trauma and abuse, as well as shelter for vulnerable women and children escaping domestic violence.

A majority of their clients are Indigenous people, who often report a disconnection from their spirituality and culture due to past traumatic experiences.

CSS plans to expand its program for Indigenous youth and women to make a more sustainable impact. The organization will host multiple workshops covering a range of topics, from Powwow preparation to learning about medicines, drum making, and Cree language lessons. With the expertise of CC’s Cultural Connectors and insights from experts on each topic, these events will be guided by Elders or delivered in collaboration with other Indigenous support organizations.

Funding from the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund (IRF) will cover workshop-related expenses, including Elder and teacher honorariums, materials, craft supplies, and participant lunches.

The primary goal of these workshops is to assist participants in navigating the complexity of “walking in two worlds.” By connecting with their roots and understanding their Indigenous identity, participants can tap into inner strength, aiding them in working through and healing from past trauma. The workshops also aim to foster a supportive community to assist participants in the next stage of their lives.

CFCS programs cater to clients who have experienced trauma and abuse, including youth with developmental disabilities, those facing placement breakdowns requiring temporary housing, and others working towards transitioning back to their families.

Archdiocese of Edmonton