Reclaiming Connections

Reclaiming Connections is an adaptation of the Connect program that strives to engage with Indigenous caregivers with respect, recognition, sensitivity and safety.

In 2014 we began the process of building relationships with a number of Indigenous communities; through their wisdom, language, and connection to cultural heritage, community, and land, these conversations began the process of adapting Connect and shaping Reclaiming Connections. The communities we have been in collaboration with have been generous in sharing the diverse historical effects of government policies and forced acculturation that threatened historic rights and privileges to parent their children. Communities have also shared their understanding of the challenges faced by their youth and their commitment to, and ideas about, how best to support the health and well-being of their families and communities. Reclaiming Connections strives toward the guidelines of the Aboriginal Policy and Practice Framework in British Columbia and recognizes that Indigenous peoples have long practiced their own diverse systems and ways of caring for and nurturing their children, ways which were tied to the values of each Nation and expressed in many practices and methods based on unique world views, cultures, and traditions (The Aboriginal Policy and Practice Framework).

Reclaiming Connections supports caregivers in ways that are safe and respectful to their families and their cultures. The program is designed to be tailored by each community, through caregivers and knowledge keepers of that region. Each gathering of caregivers brings a fresh perspective on meaningful diversities, cultural practices and how these can best be acknowledged and supported.

While Reclaiming Connections represents an adaptation of the Connect program, with its roots in non- Indigenous cultures, it strives to provide culturally informed, respectful, safe, and relevant support to caregivers and communities. We are grateful for the sharing from Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers, communities, and caregivers that has supported the development of this holistic and culturally responsive program.

For any questions regarding Reclaiming Connections, please contact Marlene Moretti; marlene_moretti@sfu.ca