"Providing the best care for Indigenous children and youth."

L i v i n g  t h e  E x p e r i e n c e
o f  C . F . S


The aim of the "Living the Experience of C.F.S" workshop is: 

S U I C I D E  P R E V E N T I O N

Through engaging social workers, foster parents and service providers in collective discussions, sharing of resources within the community and to expand their compassion/understanding of the unique needs of Indigenous children given the effects of trauma, history of colonization, inter-generational residential school trauma, and continued systemic oppression.

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Section 1:
-Developing Connections
-Effects of Trauma

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In section 1 of the workshop, the participants will review a controlled study by Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (MACY).

The group will explore the importance of developing connections and they will watch videos featuring the work of Johann Hari ("The opposite of Addiction is Connection") and psychologist Bruce K. Alexander ("Rat Park" study).


Section 2 - The Sacred Family Unit; Roles, Responsibilities, and the Circle of Care

In section 2 of the presentation, the group will begin to look at the Sacred Family Unit and the various roles (prior to colonization) within a family and a community - followed by a discussion on the effect of assimilation severing these roles and how we can begin to repair our homes, families, and communities.

The class will then break off into groups and participate in a "Tree exercise" through which they will find activities, hobbies and opportunities available to youth WITHIN their home community and the life skills they will learn from these outlets.

In this section, we will also review the role of C.F.S on the hierarchy
of needs
chart, and discuss the specific responsibilities of the
youth's circle of care - and what we can do collectively
(as an agency) and independently (as a worker) to optimize the
care of the youth.


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Section 3 - Culture & Spirituality, Love & Acceptance, Healing through Art

In section 3, the participants will watch a video by MACY featuring Dave Courchene ("Journey to Turtle Lodge") and discuss the importance of freedom pertaining to spiritual beliefs/culture.
*There is a dramatic decrease of suicide and addiction when youth have a positive support system and are loved/accepted for who they are and the path they independently choose.

During section 3, we will watch a music video by MACY called "Taken" which was written, filmed and recorded by youth in care - and highlights the importance of art and other positive coping mechanisms as alternatives to drugs and alcohol. After this we will collectively brainstorm various methods of healing, and how to make them accessible for youth in care.

Afterwards, we will discuss the many opportunities for grants, awards and funding available for First Nations Youth from various government programs and how to access them.

*This information can be life changing and every child should have access to these opportunities!


***Click the image above to view the music video produced by MACY, written by youth in care.

Section 4 - Self care and Crisis Prevention

In section 4, we will focus on self-care and crisis prevention. The development of healthy, positive coping mechanisms and the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental characteristics of impending crisis. We will discuss methods of creating a healthy, positive environment and ways we can truly create reliability and dependency out of coworkers through healthy communication, constructive criticism, empowering leadership, and Critical Incident Stress Debriefing.

We will also have handouts for the group that contains numbers they can call if they feel they are going through crisis, (sexual assault crisis line, suicide crisis line, etc.) and information for crisis stabilization centres.

It is okay to not be okay. Everybody and anybody is capable of experiencing crisis. There is no need to feel ashamed, embarrassed, or afraid. Please reach out to somebody if you are feeling overwhelmed. Crisis can ALWAYS be prevented, as long as it is recognized soon enough, and proper action is taken. You are loved, you are cared for, and there is support available if you need it.

You are a special person and you are in this position for a reason - you have a huge, caring, kind heart.
You are the change this world and these children need. Please take care of yourself so you can continue to be an angel and a gift for the children who need you.

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***Click the image to watch the video we will be showing during our self-care section;
Featuring Eric Thomas
and Jaret Grossman