The Wahkohtowin Strengthening Families Program is a unique skills development program for youth aged 11-17 and their families. The program is proudly offered by five community organizations working in partnership; Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc., Spence Neighbourhood Association, Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba Inc., and Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad Inc. and The University of Manitoba. Funding is provided by the National Crime Prevention Centre.
Wahkohtowin is a Cree word meaning ‘kinship’ or, ‘the state of being connected’. The Wahkohtowin Strengthening Families Program honors the unique connections within families, and seeks to strengthen bonds, increase communication and decrease conflict among family members.
Ka Ni Kanichihk, Ndinawe, IRCOM and SNA will each deliver a research-based and culturally-informed curriculum to up to ten families per session, with three sessions being held per year. The U of M will lead an ongoing evaluation.
Each session will consist of 14 weekly classes, each approximately 3 hours in length. Transportation is provided to families, as well as child-minding for children 10 and younger. Each class begins with a family meal, followed by youth and adults classes. Each class concludes with a family class, where the family joins together to practice the skills they learned. In addition, one cultural event is held per session, where families spend the day together learning and celebrating their traditions, customs and ways of being. In order to meet the needs of the community, each organization will hold the program on a different night, as listed below:
- Ka Ni Kanichihk: Tuesdays from 5 – 8pm
- IRCOM: Saturdays from 10am – 3pm
- Spence Neighbourhood Association: Thursdays from 5 – 8pm
- Ndinawe: Mondays from 5 – 8pm
Families are encouraged to select the site most comfortable and convenient for them.
Application / Referral Process
Families may register for the program by contacting any of the staff members listed below. You will be asked to complete a registration form, which may include a short needs-assessment in order to determine your family’s suitability for the program. After you have submitted your registration form, a staff member will contact you within 1 week to advise you of acceptance or placement on a waitlist.
Intake interview will consist of a comprehensive needs assessment to help the staff team understand your family, a pre-survey and signing of consent forms.
Referrals will be accepted on behalf of families, by local resources, non-profit organizations, as well as Winnipeg School Division, CFS and Winnipeg Police.