– Our Programmes–
Connor Homes provides all youth 12 and older with an intensive life skills program. This program follows the outline as provided by the Daniel Memorial Independent Living Assessment for Life Skills. Child and Youth Workers will assist each youth to complete a life skills assessment. Results from this assessment will appear under Independent Living Skills title in the Plan of Care.
Programs to instruct the youth in those areas of Life skills required will be implemented by the Treatment Foster Parents and Child and Youth Workers. Child and Youth Workers will provide the instruction from community resources. Youth are reassessed as required and the growth is documented in the Plan of Care. Areas of non-growth are reviewed until a level of competency is achieved in that area.
A comprehensive report is generated which outlines a percentage grade for each of the following areas. The areas in which growth is required will have a detailed treatment plan attached to that skill to guide the Treatment Foster Parents and Child and Youth Workers in their instruction.
It is our goal to promote cultural competency during the process of treatment. In understanding the importance of family and community when caring for Indigenous youth - the involvement of these members is highly encouraged in this programming and the direction of elders is greatly respected.
Our coordinator is a proud member of Moose Cree First Nation and has a Master of Social Work degree. As a previous psychotherapist she has clinical expertise in the issues effecting Indigenous youth and their families, such as intergenerational trauma. She provides annual training to our foster parents, and is available to the child and youth workers and psychotherapists working with Indigenous youth for consultation. Our goal is to ensure Elders are available for one-to-one traditional counselling, to facilitate healing circles and provide ceremony.
Our coordinator also provides our foster parents with resources to provide culturally competent treatment. Not only does it provide workers with an understanding of the historical and current issues affecting their Indigenous youth, but it also provides information needed to ensure a culturally sensitive home.
Since this program was created we have contracted elders and traditional healers into the treatment plan of our youth. We have recently contracted Strong Earth Alliance led by Shaman Harry Snowboy to provide opportunities for traditional ceremonies and identity-based healing for our youth. We are excited for this new partnership and are very much looking forward to where this new vision will take us.
In recognizing the importance of artisans in the Indigenous culture, youth are given opportunities to participate in traditional arts and crafts workshops, such as smudging feathers and drum making, and have access to resources should they wish to pursue these customs in their homes. This programming promotes that youth of all ages should have access to storybooks and educational resources on their history and culture, such as those on residential schooling. In addition, the program aims to ensure all homes are provided with language workbooks for the youth to practice their traditional tongue.
For our coordinator, the joy of these workshops is that in many cases she discovers artisans and offers them contracts with providing workshops to our youth. The artisans are in their own way healers by providing a safe space for youth to learn teachings and develop coping skills such as craft work that is culturally relevant to Indigenous youth.
From children's books to workbooks, we provide a resource list for children and youth of all ages to learn about issues such as residential schooling. Storybooks are a great way to assist children and youth with understanding their struggles.
One of the detrimental losses for the Indigenous people has been language. When an Indigenous youth comes into our care, they receive language books. We have acquired many wonderful language books such as "Moose Factory Cree" by Daisy Turner and "Talking Gookom's Language: Learning Ojibwe" by Patricia M. Ningewance. It is our hope that they are interested in practising their traditional tongue, and we encourage foster parents and child and youth workers to assist them in this learning. Occasionally, we are also able to contract elders to provide language workshops.
The number one recommendation from Elder’s is to connect youth to the land therefore we offer opportunities for medicine walks. Time on Mother Earth is Sacred, and we must learn to have a Spiritual connection and bond with her again. It is imperative for our overall wellbeing and holistic healing. Guided by an elder, these walks also provide traditional teachings and ceremony.
The teachings of the Medicine Wheel and Grandfathers are highly encouraged within the homes. This program provides a Wellness Wheel workbook given upon admission so youth can work on their overall wellbeing under the premise of the Medicine Wheel teachings. Youth are also given the sacred medicines should they wish to smudge. Talking circles are encouraged as the forum to discuss weekly issues in the homes and it is an expectation that foster families participate in the cultural opportunities provided by their surrounding communities, such as pow wows, should their youth wish to participate.
Cultural events bring together all the Connor Homes youth and their families across the province to celebrate Indigenous culture and to instill Indigenous pride. Inspirational role models, entertainers, musicians, drummers, dancers and artisans take the stage after everyone enjoys a traditional potluck. It is a great time to come together as a community and learn from traditional teachings, listen to inspirational stories and engage in friendly bannock competitions.
We aim to provide treatment that is respectful of cultural differences. With that said, we also believe strongly in that all Nations can come together in the principle that certain teachings whether from an Ojibway or Mohawk elder are a strong foundation for all. We honour and celebrate both our differences and our common ground. This program has an elder's board that provides wisdom and guidance on how to best understand these teachings and how to best provide them to the children and youth in which we serve.
If you have any questions or concerns about this programming, our Indigenous Treatment Program Coordinator is Jenny Sutherland and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-612-6298
All Children and Youth placed with Connor Homes including those who aren’t residents of Connor Homes have an opportunity to participate in Blackhorse Ranch Summer Camp. This camp runs weekly throughout the summer months from Sunday evening through to Friday afternoon each week.
Children and Youth with special needs or behavioral difficulties are welcome at this camp and will be provided an opportunity to work one on one with the horses throughout the week. Each child is assessed for their ability to successfully attend this camp. A plan is put in place for each child or youth which at times can include one to one workers and special accommodations can be made for some of the campers with special needs.
Our goal is to allow every child and youth the opportunity to attend summer camp.
Each camp is a week-long adventure with horses. You will learn all about horses including:
We are offering Counselor-In-Training camp once again this year. We are looking for kids 16 and up who wish to learn leadership skills, how to work in a team, be a peer mentor, and build up their resume.