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Ancient wisdom helps women move out of violence

Shannon Buck"For me, it's about women reclaiming their place in the circle of life," says Shannon Buck, Program Coordinator of the Red Road to Healing program in Winnipeg.

In 2010, thanks to a grant from the Canadian Women's Foundation, Shannon created a new program for Aboriginal women who experience domestic violence. Though the program was brand new, it was based on ancient Aboriginal teachings.

“Originally, this land was run by matriarchal societies,” Shannon says. “Women were the healers and the leaders. By bringing those teachings back, we help women remember their value.”

The first time she offered the program, 41 women showed up – four times as many as she'd expected. Today, 500 women have gone through the program, 13 community groups from across Manitoba have been trained to deliver it, and the program has been recognized by the federal Department of Justice as a promising practice.

"These teachings are needed more than ever, especially in remote Northern communities. I hope women who take the program share the teachings with their daughters, so they can start a new cycle that's healthier."

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