Leaders’ conference being planned

Press Release

Anishinaabe victims of violence in Fort Frances have improved access to programming to help them through the healing process and promote cultural identity.
Sponsored in part by the Aboriginal Victims Support Grant Program, Weechi-it-te-win Family Services here is pleased to be hosting “We are all Leaders”—a conference on the impacts and interventions for historical trauma and lateral violence—on Nov. 16-18 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Memorial Sports Centre.
The first two days of the conference are geared for professionals working with First Nations’ people, community members, parents, and natural helpers.
Evening activities will include fundraisers for the Ganawendaasowin youth programs, square dancing, karaoke, and a formal banquet.
The third day is targeted at youths in Grades 8-12, with Turtle Concepts facilitating a workshop entitled, “Am I a bully or am I just reacting to my life.”
Lateral violence describes the organized, harmful behaviours we do to each other collectively as part of an oppressed group; within our families, within our organizations, and within our communities.
Historical trauma, meanwhile, is cumulative emotional and psychological wounding, over the lifespan and across generations, emanating from massive group trauma experiences.
Presenters will include:
•Jane Middleton-Moz, M.S., a well-known author and consultant with more than 35 years experience in the treatment of mental health and substance abuse problems.
Internationally known for her work in the areas of adult children of alcoholics, multi-generational grief, and ethnic/cultural awareness, she will be providing a keynote address on Nov. 16 as well as an afternoon workshop on the topic of lateral violence.
•Maria Yellow Horse Braveheart, Ph.D, who developed the internationally-recognized historical trauma and historical unresolved grief theory in addition to various interventions among American Indians.
Dr. Braveheart is our keynote speaker for Nov. 17, during which she will be presenting on the topic of “Clinical Interventions for Historical Trauma Response.”
•Estelle Simard, Ph.D (candidate), who, in the midst of her studies, is the executive director of the Institute for Culturally Restorative Practices.
She has presented at national and international forums on child welfare practice.
Simard will be presenting a workshop on “Culturally Restoration—A best practice for Historical Trauma” on Nov. 17.
•Dave Jones, who has shared his positive story across the world about how it was growing up in his home community of Garden River First Nation.
He founded the group “Turtle Concepts,” whose mission it is to empower youth.
“We are grateful to have had the opportunity to engage our communities in culturally-competent services through this grant,” said Lori Flinders, director of Nanaadawewinan, Weechi-it-te-win Family Services.
“By hosting a conference that includes keynote speakers on the cutting edge of research in lateral violence and historical trauma, we hope to decrease and eliminate the incidents of lateral violence in the workplace, schools, and home,” Flinders added.
For more information on the conference, contact Roger Fobister Sr. or Shannon Blight at 274-0483, or e-mail Flinders at lori.flinders@weechi.ca