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First Nations Approach to Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenting. MA MAWI WI CHI ITATA CENTRE ISOBELS PLACE.

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Presentation on theme: "First Nations Approach to Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenting. MA MAWI WI CHI ITATA CENTRE ISOBELS PLACE."— Presentation transcript:

1 First Nations Approach to Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenting. MA MAWI WI CHI ITATA CENTRE ISOBELS PLACE

2 In our work with our moms and with each other, we all strive to follow the Seven Teachings Humility Love Respect Honesty Wisdom Courage Truth

3 CODE of HONOUR We Tell the Truth. We seek only Peace. We keep our Word. We stand up for what is Right. We treat each other with Respect. We first listen from our Heart, then we speak from our Heart. We support one another to follow the Code of Honour.

4 In a lot of Cultures across the world…. Adolescent Pregnancy is the normal way of life. Teenage Pregnancy is accepted as the natural life Journey, including aboriginal people In the Aboriginal culture, Aboriginal people think of a pregnancy as a gift from the creator and a life valued. A pregnancy wasn’t taken lightly, much planning and learning was expected of the parents to be and great care was taken to ensure this child would have all their needs met when he or she entered the world.

5 Continued… Most often all the women in the community would participate in some way or another from gathering supplies, to preparing the parents, to the actual birth with midwives and helpers at hand. This was also a journey prepared for two expecting parents and a community not just one parent.

6 What changed? What changed? Colonization, western civilization and residential school played a gigantic part in changing the support mechanism. Teenage pregnancy exists today and is a major concern along with other “aboriginal issues” because of the lack of support in what used to normal and accepted or was non existent. However the support piece changed drastically and the way of life for our First Nations.

7 In the Western World… In the Western World teenage pregnancy is taboo. So when European society started immigrating to Americas, adolescent pregnancy was looked down upon, but there are instances where a European family would bring their un wed daughter to an Aboriginal community and she would stay during her confinement and birth, then leave the child with the aboriginal people of that community to raise.

8 Continued… Aboriginal people did not care about the nationality, race, color of the baby; only that this baby was in need of a loving family/community to care for and raise this child. How awesome is creator for bestowing this child onto them? That might be one of the reasons we see blue eyed blond haired first nation people in this day and age.

9 Continued… The babies born to these teenage European mothers, would just grow up and marry within the communities like any other child during that time. At Isobel’s place we have a similar idea in the sense where we will take any nationality pregnant adolescent into our home, although the majority is First Nations, we have had African- Aboriginal, African Canadian, Asian, Portuguese, other Caucasian mothers in our home.

10 All about Isobel’s Place Isobel’s Place is a comprehensive two stage approach which provides a nurturing and safe environment for pregnant and parenting adolescents, between the age of years of age, an opportunity to learn effective parenting and life skills in preparation for independent living. The Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre will facilitate partnerships to increase the capacity of the community to participate in the supports of it’s children and families, by fostering a meaningful and consistent approach for volunteer involvement and community development initiatives.

11 Philosophy Isobel’s Place operates within a philosophy that is embodied in the name of our centre “ we all work together to help one another”. The Philosophy of the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre is based on the recognition and understanding of the extended family system and the many networks within the community. We believe that children are not private property and the sole responsibility of the individual parents, rather gifts from the creator; and that, all members of the community have a role in the responsibility for the care, protection and nurturing of children.

12 Program Objectives: To promote healthy informed choices through increasing awareness and supportive environment while exploring various options available to pregnant adolescents; To reduce the number of repeated pregnancies of adolescent parents; To increase the capacity of adolescent parents to become self sufficient and decrease dependence on social services system;

13 Program objectives continued: To improve the decision making and problem solving skills of adolescent parents from a holistic perspective; To provide adolescent parents with the skills necessary to effectively provide a loving, caring and safe environment for their children; To build on the capacity of the family to fully and proactively support adolescent parents and their child; To increase the life and parenting skills necessary of adolescent parents in preparation of independent living.

14 Continued… To increase the capacity of the community to participate in the support of it’s children and families, by fostering a meaningful and consistent approach for volunteer involvement and community development initiatives; To facilitate community partnerships to provide on-going support, services and resources for children, adolescent parents and families.

15 The Facility We are located at Blake Gardens – Weston Area. 24 hour supervised, facility, that consists of 12 furnished suites. The suites have a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom (2), living room and storage space. Shared space within our facility includes: A kitchen, dinning room, multipurpose room or living room, on site laundry, sharing room or program room, computer room, administration office and child development centre.

16 Programs Weekly regular resident meetings which are held in a sharing circle manner, we smudge and pray before the start of the meeting, in a circle each resident can share about their weekend, goals for the week and concerns they may have. Staff participate as well in the meeting and if there are any announcements and newcomers this is where we welcome our new friends.

17 Programs Continued Prenatal with Labor Preparation and Breastfeeding in partnership with the Community Public Health Nurse and Student Nurses. Postnatal with PHN Nutrition with Community Dietician Healthy Relationships with Mamawi Independent Living skills

18 Including Our Fathers Isobel’s place also includes and encourages the fathers to be part of their babies lives and a part of the program. Learning is for both Mothers as well as Fathers. Our dads and dads to be have fathers mentor available to them. A dad’s den with access to a computer and other resources.

19 Value Based Approach As a Mamawi home we follow a value based approach and a harm reduction approach to our care structure. The value based approach in caring for our children is as close to an Aboriginal perspective as we can get and still be part of mainstream social work practice.

20 Family Group Conferencing Empowering our family to be the decision makers Building relationships with our moms and our families Building support for mom and baby during the program and upon discharge. Following and following up on the Family Group Conference plan.

21 Cultural Program Optional not mandatory Cultural pieces woven into the learning in our programs Optional offered ceremonies, smudges, sweats and full moon ceremonies Shared cultural worker


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