Anishnabeg Outreach (AO) has created a virtual self-directed mental health management system
that will be made available to all community members in need of support including partnering agencies
whose clientele will benefit. The mental health management system integrates with the AONest
to provide whole family support in combination with life skills and job readiness training.
To support this system and allow AO to automate pathways, consider donating below.
Why Create A Self-Directed System?
The current health system in Canada is an unsustainable resource for Mental Health.
Below are some of the most persistent barriers in current mental health services in Canada.
Lack of healing from intergenerational trauma also results in the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in social support systems.
50% of our local homeless population is Indigenous.
50% – 75% of children in care are Indigenous.
30% of prison populations nationally are Indigenous, with that number being as high as 50% in many women’s prisons.
500% higher school dropout rates for Indigenous youth.
We also know that children in care often transition from one system to another system, where they often represent 50% – 80% of those populations including the various shelter systems.
Canada currently has created a system of life-long support for our most vulnerable populations which means it is very difficult to get out of these social support systems and impossible without healing and training for employment.
The maintenance of these systems cost Canadian taxpayers 10s of billions of dollars annually. If we can provide the tools to help Indigenous people heal and provide opportunities for employment specific training, Canada could save 10s of billions of dollars annually.
In 1971, the worker to retiree ratio was 7:1, In 20 years, the ratio will be 2:1 due to the mass retirement of the baby boomer population. This will impact services, pensions, healthcare, and long-term care. Providing services to this valuable population of retirees who are also our older family members, will cost 10s of billions of new dollars per year.
Overrepresentation in Indigenous Communities
At Anishnabeg Outreach (AO) the priority population we serve is urban First Nation, Inuit, and Metis (FNIM). Last year AO supported over 14,000 local FNIM people with our programming. There are 50,000 FNIM people in the Waterloo Region, with complex and diverse needs.
The FNIM community in the Waterloo Region makes up roughly 10% of the population. With, FNIM people representing 50% of the local homeless population, approximately 50% of the children in care across the country, and over 30% of the prison population nationally. FNIM youth have a 500% higher school dropout rate. In addition to being overrepresented within these systems, we also see other outcomes of what a lack of healing has caused, including higher rates of substance abuse, addiction, and mental health conditions.
As a result, AO takes a healing-centered approach to all program delivery ensuring that we are meeting the specific and diverse needs of our clients at all levels. AO works hard to assist FNIM people to overcome the barriers that exist because of colonial systems through offering a sustainable and comprehensive suite of centralized wrap-around healing based services for urban FNIM people.
At AO we work with large businesses and organizations to break down barriers that exist within their systems to ensure Indigenous peoples have equitable access to employment. AO does this through reconciliation training.
Our reconciliation training that we provide is one of the many programs and services AO offers to combat the high numbers of Indigenous representation in the statistics above.
Reconciliation and the Three Pillars
Reconciliation is important to understand when discussing Indigenous health and wellbeing as reconciliation has a direct impact on improving Indigenous health. AO has defined reconciliation as healing and economic independence which must be Indigenous-led and in partnership, in order to achieve reconciliation in our lifetime. We have remodeled reconciliation that we define through three pillars that will make reconciliation possible. These pillars become even stronger when they are braided together and work in unison to deliver reconciliation, similar to a sweetgrass braid.
Achieving Reconciliation for Indigenous Peoples
The first pillar involves healing Indigenous people and to assist Indigenous peoples to obtain economic independence through employment and entrepreneurship. The achievement of the first pillar also necessitates rebuilding family and community, giving back language and culture and helping to remove barriers to societal participation free of discrimination and racism. Our AONest (Learning Management System) achieves this pillar.
Achieving Reconciliation for Businesses
The second pillar is achieved through reconciliation training to help businesses remove the barriers to employment and understand the history and need for reconciliation. The second pillar is about achieving action Item 92.2 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which works to ensure that Indigenous peoples have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector, and that Indigenous communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects. It is through the second pillar we will be able to develop corporate champions and have them embrace the Indigenous talent pool by helping corporate Canada eliminate systemic discrimination and barriers to employment.
Achieving Reconciliation for People of Canada
The final pillar is about raising awareness with all Canadians and capturing organizations’ reconciliation journey through the activation of spaces, QR codes, and greenspaces. System holders and corporate Canada present barriers to employment for FNIM individuals; this is the premise of why we are developing this reconciliation training. It is evident that FNIM are overrepresented within our systems.
With this reconciliation training AO intends to provide leadership teams with the tools to break down systemic barriers that exist within their workplaces to expand the FNIM talent pool, offering job ready FNIM community members a sustainable career and path forward.
AO’s reconciliation training is building awareness, starting challenging discussions, and fostering partnerships. In AO’s reconciliation training, we work alongside the company’s leadership teams in our teaching lodge for a full day training session, including a traditional lunch.
The session covers Canada’s colonial history and focuses on what changes can be achieved through creating positive social change within corporate Canada. The training focuses on creating avenues for everyone to be involved and empowered in reconciliation work. AO believes that working closely with companies’ leadership teams is important for sustainability and scalability as many companies have high turn over rates. Thus, we have created a train-the-trainer model where we build relationships with the leadership team and provide them with the necessary tools, knowledge, and support to incorporate the training into their onboarding processes for all team members to access.
We will also activate public spaces with replica Indigenous artifacts, reconciliation turtles and medicine gardens similar to the ones installed at Monica’s place. This will help raise awareness with the public to support reconciliation.
Finally, we will develop cultural programming to help give back culture and language to Indigenous people which will help with feelings of safety and belonging. Collectively this program will lead to overcoming intergenerational trauma and in turn proactively prevent Indigenous people from entering the various systems that impact them.
If you have any questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +1 519-208-5333.