Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata is a leader in engaging communities, families, women and girls, and men and boys in addressing violence and facilitating healing for those impacted by violence. At Spirit of Peace we address family violence within a culturally appropriate and trauma and compassion informed environment that is responsive to the historical and current context that contributes to family violence.
Family violence is a multi-dimensional issue facing Indigenous communities and as such requires a multi-dimensional approach, including engaging men and boys in working towards addressing violence in relationships and creating a society where violence is no longer tolerated. Ending family violence requires addressing the root causes including inequality, racism, and patriarchy, in addition to addressing the dynamics and behaviors within a violent relationship. The historical and contemporary outcomes of colonization have had a destructive impact on the lives Indigenous people resulting in the disruption of interpersonal, family, community, and land relationships.
History of Spirit of Peace
Spirit of Peace was created in 1985 and is one of the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre’s longest running programs. Initially providing services to women and children impacted by family violence, Spirit of Peace’s mandate was expanded to include men and teens. The vison of the program is to promote the elimination of intimate partner violence through a holistic response that meets the needs of women, men, youth, and children impacted by family violence. While rooted in Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing, Spirit of Peace works across cultures, faiths, and generations.
Programming for Women, Men, Children and Youth
Adult programming (women and men) adopts a holistic approach in providing services that consider the mind, body and spirit. Our support services include group counselling (open and closed groups) to assist individuals in understanding the different types of abusive behaviors. Our groups are delivered with a self-awareness approach that offer strategies to end the cycle of violence. The group provides emotional support for the participants while offering information and resources. If referrals or advocacy is requested, Spirit of Peace will create a safe and supportive network ensuring needs are met.
The Spirit of Peace program provides participants with the opportunity to connect to the land and participate in ceremonies. These opportunities allow participants to connect with Indigenous ways of knowing and find comfort and healing in ceremony. For many this may be their first encounter with ceremony, such as the opportunity to sit with Elders and receive a spirit name they can carry with great honour.
Spirit of Peace youth and children’s programming focuses on understanding and eliminating self-blame, breaking down the inter-generational cycle of violence, empowering coping skills, and helping youth and children to recognize and use alternatives to violence.
Spirit of Peace has established and maintained a longstanding relationship and partnership with the Federal Correctional Institution in Manitoba. Men from Rockwood Stony Mountain Institution are assessed for suitability to the program, and Spirit of Peace has been identified as a solid support for these men as they transition towards their release and is often a part of their release plans. Many of the participants continue to attend long after required attendance has ended due to meaningful relationships established with the program staff and participants.
Admission and Access to the Program;
- Orientation is required for adults entering the Spirit of Peace program
- There are two orientations a month for both our Men’s and Women’s Program. One-on-one orientation is offered on an as need basis.
- Children and teens wishing to attend Spirit of Peace are not required to attend an orientation and can call the Children and Youth Facilitator for dates, times and locations.
- If you require more information on how to access our program, please contact the following;
- Spirit of Peace Coordinator 204-925-0335
- Spirit of Peace Men’s Facilitator 204-925-4485
- Spirit of Peace Women’s Facilitator 204-925-0323
- Spirit of Peace Youth Facilitator 204-925-0364