The Aboriginal R+R curricula was created in consultation with six Aboriginal women. The women reviewed our standard R+R program materials and made suggestions to make the program more culturally relevant for Aboriginal youth. Their ideas were incorporated into the new Aboriginal curricula. The Department of Justice Canada provided the funding to enable this worthwhile project to take place. We then worked in partnership with the Musqueam Indian band in Vancouver, B.C. to pilot-test the new program with their youth. As part of this project we also pilot-tested our new online training for adult facilitators in the R+R program with five Aboriginal trainees. They also participated in a live training for thirty Musqueam facilitators. The Canadian Women’s Foundation provided additional financial support for the Musqueam people to participate in this pilot-project. The following is a description of the experience by one of our trainers, Christina Antonick:
“In October I had the great privilege of with working with Musqueam Nation to train almost 30 men and women to deliver the R+R Program to youth within their community. The first weekend was spent assisting new facilitators to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the overall curriculum values and core philosophy of the program as well as assisting teams in beginning their preparation for two youth weekends of program delivery in beautiful Pemberton.
Both youth weekends were a wonderful opportunity for Musqueam youth and adults to gather together to talk about the impact of violence in their community as well as work together to come up with ways in which young people can find ways to stay safe, connect and foster a greater sense of what it means to have a healthy relationship with oneself, family members and as a larger community.”