Indigenous peoples experience a number of barriers that have led to a higher representation of incarceration and interactions with the legal system than other Canadians. The experiences of colonization and assimilation policies have led to complex issues resulting in intergenerational trauma. In addition, those Indigenous peoples who have negative interactions with the law, are more likely to experience poverty, homelessness and have challenges with addiction.

Indigenous Canadians are affected by several negative health and social outcomes including their children being placed into foster care, accidents and fatalities related to alcohol abuse and violence, and higher rates of attempted and completed suicides.

Over the past several decades, many Indigenous Calgarians have become disconnected from culture due to lack of proximity to their communities and families. There are proven positive outcomes from connecting with Indigenous cultural traditions and spirituality, including an increased sense of identity and self-awareness.

Our Solution: Programs that Build Bridges

Meaningful programs, resources and supports help our Indigenous clients overcome the barriers that are obstacles in creating more hopeful futures. We provide the bridges to a better life and support pathways to healing for marginalized Indigenous Calgarians through programs such as:

  • Indigenous Cultural Supports
  • Prison Community Outreach Program
  • Emotional Wellness and Employment Readiness

There are increased requests from our clients for Indigenous programming and more interest in Indigenous cultural supports. By providing various opportunities with Indigenous languages, traditional teachings and cultural ceremonies and practices, we can offer further education and connections that align with recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Through our partnership with Pathways Community Services Association, we are able to enhance cultural connections for urban Indigenous peoples.

Many Indigenous expenses are not covered through traditional funding grants and include Elder honorariums for ceremonies and resources, materials for programs and expenses related to healing ceremonies. Indigenous programming is an imperative part of the healing journey. Working together, we can sustain, enhance and expand our Indigenous cultural supports and bring about meaningful reconciliation for the Indigenous peoples we serve.

Together, we can break barriers and build bridges for Calgary’s marginalized people. To learn more about giving opportunities with the Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary, please email or call 403-294-0737.