Courage. Wisdom. Respect. Love. Honesty. Truth. Humility. Every parent wants their child to know and live these values, but how can we make sure they do?
In the inner city of Winnipeg, where many Aboriginal families live in poverty, one innovative program is connecting girls to these values through the “Sacred Seven” teachings, one of the cornerstones of Aboriginal teaching. The Sacred Seven Healthy Relationship program is a two-year afterschool program that reaches 100 youth directly and hundreds more through presentations at partnering schools.
Designed especially for Aboriginal youth, the program uses culturally-appropriate teachings—like the Seven Sacred teachings and the Medicine Wheel—to discuss topics such as violence prevention, self-esteem, and leadership.
“The girls do everything from talk about healthy relationships to learn how to hoop dance,” says program manager Sharon Redsky. “They meet every week with mentors and learn about their culture. It’s really empowering for them.” The program also includes opportunities to get involved with the community.
We asked a participant about what they learned from the Sacred Seven Healthy Relationship program, and her reply was – "The Program gives you insight into your strengths and guidance to make the right choices. And you learn to stand up for what you believe in."
The Sacred Seven Healthy Relationship program is a Canadian Women’s Foundation funded program. It is delivered by the Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre, in partnership with the University of Winnipeg.
To learn more about the Sacred Seven Teachings, download the PDF here.