Latest News

Sage 12-Week Program

July 23, 2019

Now accepting women participants, 18+ years of age, for our Fall 2019 SAGE 12-week program. Please call to make an appointment to conduct an intake with Kachina. Please see the poster for details.

Program Information:

  • When: September 10th to November 29th, 2019.
  • What: Learn skills for life, express yourself with writing & photography, learn employment skills and connect with Indigenous culture.
  • Where: Sunalta Community Hall 1627, 10 Ave SW
  • How: To register talk to Kachina, Sage Coordinator to set up a time to meet at: 403 294 0737 ext. 246 | sage@elizabethfrycalgary.ca

In The Spirit of Healing – 2018 Annual Report

In 2018, an increased number of individuals from the Nation attended court and the number of Administration of Justice charges related to warrants and breaches reduced more significantly. Importantly, the support is conducted in the Stoney language, contributing to stronger understanding of processes, supports and resources.

In our efforts to reduce incarceration rates of Indigenous peoples, we recognize the importance of working collaboratively within the community to empower opportunities that lead individuals out of the criminal justice system and on a stronger path of healing and wellness. Therefore, we are grateful for our partnerships and collaborations within the community who are vital to improving access to the right resources.

>Click here to read our 2018 Annual Report.


We are hiring: INDIGENOUS PRISON COMMUNITY OUTREACH CASE MANAGER

May 16, 2019

POSITION DESCRIPTION

POSITION TYPE:         Regular Full Time

POSITION SUMMARY:

The Indigenous Prison Community Outreach Case Manager provides individual and group support to women who are incarcerated or in the community as they progress on their pathway to healing.  The Indigenous Prison Community Outreach Case Manager is responsible for participating in all aspects of program development including planning, implementation, administration, and evaluation. The Indigenous Prison Community Outreach Case Manager ensures the program is progressively changing with the needs of clients, trends in the community, and the criminal justice system.  The position requires someone with experience working with high-risk, complex, and vulnerable populations in case management.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES:

·         Support incarcerated women to cope with their personal circumstances by providing information on resources/programs available to them, affirming their resilience, and promoting thoughtful informed decision-making.

·         Assist each client in the development of a comprehensive individualized plan designed to maximize their integration back into society with stronger potential.

·         Assess client needs with regard to urgencies/emergencies/risk levels and engage appropriate services, both internal and external to EFry.

·         Provide information to enable clients to address their needs as defined by the four components of the Medicine Wheel.

·          Provide short term crisis support with a focus on supporting short-term and long-term wellness goals.

·         Assist with culturally appropriate referrals to and accessing of appropriate community resources.

·         Assist in the planning and facilitation of networking and personal development opportunities for clients, through individual and group support.

·         Assist clients to develop and/or maintain links to their identified social supports and cultural connections.

·         Advocate on behalf of clients through interactions with community and government agencies, and role model access to these resources.

·         Engage clients into cultural, spiritual, and traditional supports and service delivery options relevant to their needs.

·         Provide access to Elders/Knowledge Keepers, ceremonies, and traditional activities to support healing and personal resiliency.

·         Facilitate and participate in agency programming within the institution and community.

REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS:       Immediate Supervisor – Program Manager

QUALIFICATIONS:

·         Degree or diploma in Criminal Justice, Law, Social Work or other Human Resource equivalent. Also lived experience is considered with previous work experience in the field.

·         2-5 years of experience working with Indigenous populations and doing case management

·         Knowledge of community resources and Indigenous traditions and culture.

·         Experience working in the criminal justice system an asset.

·         Facilitation skills an asset

·         Proficiency in Microsoft Office, specifically Excel, Word, Outlook.

·         Excellent oral and written communication skills.

·         Ability to work independently and proactively as part of a team.

·         An understanding of women’s issues, social justice advocacy, diversity and anti-oppressive practice is an asset.

·         Valid Alberta Driver’s License and access to a reliable vehicle.

·         Must have a clean Vulnerable Sectors Criminal Record and be able to secure Security Clearance in the Institutions. PLEASE NOTE THAT A NEW CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK MUST BE SECURED BETWEEN JOB OFFER AND HIRING DATE AND MUST WITHIN 30 DAYS OF HIRING DATE.

·         Must secure a Clearance Letter indicating that you do not have a criminal conviction, outstanding warrants or criminal cases that are being dealt with in the court.

Salary and Benefits:

Starting wages $40, 975 – 43,270 (comparable hourly wage to those positions of 40 hours weekly).
3 week vacation commencing within first year
Extra vacation time provided at Christmas without impeding vacation accruals.
Full benefits commence within 6 months
Full Retirement Pension Plan (3%) commences within 6 months
4 wellness days annually
All statutory holidays including .5 day for Stampede parade, Family and Heritage day, and Easter Monday. Any statutory holidays that fall on a weekend employees receive a day off paid.
12 sick leave days annually – pro-rated as per start date
Total work hours is 35 hours plus .5 unpaid lunch daily
Access to Indigenous ceremonies and healing
Positive and supportive work environment
Working from a place of power within with staff and clients
Utilize and maximize your skills and experience
Email with cover letter and resume to Ronda Dalshaug rdalshaug@elizabethfrycalgary.ca by Friday May 31, 2019 @ 4 pm

 


Honouring Our Voices Gathering: Message From The Executive Director

March 28, 2019

On February 28-March 2, 2019, Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary in partnership with Pathways Community Services Association – Miskanawah, Boys and Girls Club of Calgary, Sunrise Healing Lodge, YW Calgary and the White Buffalo Parent Link Centre with Siksika Family Services welcomed over three hundred family members from communities across Southern Alberta to the Honouring our Voices – Healing Gathering for Families of Murdered and Missing Loved Ones.

We were honoured to have ceremonies commenced by the women of the Stand-up Head Dress Society of the Blackfoot Confederacy, and a pipe ceremony conducted by Elder Dila Provost Houle and her son Councillor Riel Houle. A sacred fire began at 4pm on Thursday, February 28, 2019 and was kept alit until the final closing ceremonies on Saturday, March 2, 2019.

Throughout the 3 days, families engaged in healing ceremonies including the Tea Dance Ceremony with Dr. Reg Crowshoe and 18 of our community Elders and Knowledge Keepers, as well as blessings and emotional support from many of our Elders to assist them along the path of healing. In addition, psychotherapist, Metis Elder Kerrie Moore provided therapeutic support for those families experiencing distress.

To celebrate healing, Rod Hunter with Eya-Hey Nakoda and Darcy Turning Robe with Sorrel Rider Singers provided an evening of fun and dancing in a round dance .

Powerful presentations were facilitated by Bernadette Smith, whose personal experience of her missing sister, Nahanni Fontaine who shared her personal story, and Savvy Simon whose voice of positivity provided the families with courage to face their grief. On the final day, a panel of family members told their stories of healing and hope for those struggling with their losses.

While parents were spending time focused in ceremony and support, the children and youth were also engaged in on their own healing journey respectively with Shirley Hill and Dwight Farahat. “I am…” is an original poem written and performed by the youth in attendance during the gathering.

The Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary would like to thank Lowa Beebe for dedicating her time as Master of Ceremonies, our funders Calgary Foundation, Calgary Homeless Foundation, Justice Canada – Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women for their generous support of this gathering. In addition to our partners, volunteers, presenters and performers, staff and those Elders and Knowledge Keepers who exhibited their commitment and compassion to the families of murdered and missing loved ones.

Katelyn Lucas
Executive Director


Indigenous Learning: Smudging Ceremonies

March 22, 2019

Written by: Natalie Jovanic

As a non-Indigenous person, I was wondering about smudging and what the Indigenous teachings were on this practice. Since Indigenous cultures are very diverse, the teachings vary between each culture. For this article, Barbara, the Indigenous Program Coordinator at the Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary shared her story about smudging based on her teachings.

Respect the teachings

These days, we tend to hurry and be always busy. With smudging, it is important to take the opposite approach: assume an attitude of not-knowing, and do not rush. Take time intentionally and listen.

Barbara explained that it is best for non-Indigenous people to talk to an Elder or Sacred Teacher connected with the land they live in, while Indigenous peoples may talk to an Elder from the land they come from. When smudging, especially as a non-Indigenous person, it is important to understand what we are allowed to do and what we should not do. For example, there is a difference between smudging and using plants as medicines. For smudging, we may use sage. However, only Sacred Teachers or those with the rights to medicine are allowed the use of plants as medicines, unless this right is passed along to you to help you heal.

The smudge as a symbol for our connection with the earth

Smudging starts long before you light the sage. Barbara explained that the smudge symbolizes the connection with the earth and it is best to go out into nature and harvest your own sage with the appropriate protocol Barbara picks the sage she needs for herself and The Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary during the growing season, the amount varies depending on the year.  Even the harvesting of plants for smudge requires prayer – one should only take what they need to last until the next growing season. We need to take care that we do not deplete nature but that we allow nature to be in balance.

The sage is picked once it is tall enough—but before it starts to seed. The time of year may vary from year to year depending on weather conditions. After the gathering, it is tied up into bundles and hung outside to give the bugs that live inside sage a chance to drop and leave. The dried sage is taken off the stems and the stems are returned to Mother Earth where it was picked or in some cases burned at ceremony.

Protocols and Practice

After the sage has been collected and dried, you may smudge twice a day for cleansing and protection or as needed for prayer, ceremony or healing. Smudging also serves as a protection against negative outside threats. Ideally, one should smudge in the morning when the sun rises and in the evening when the sun goes down. Take a little bit of sage and put it into a bowl. The amount of smudge you use depends on the lengths of the prayer you intend to use. You use a shell, a shaped stone, or a smudge bowl to place the sage within. To light the smudge, Barbara likes to ignite the sage in accordance with the four directions, as she has been taught to do. Once the sage is lit, she cleanses her hands with the smoke. Then, she brings the smoke over her body and arms to cleanse them. She proceeds to bring the smoke onto her eyes with the intention to see good things, to her ears to hear good things, to her mouth to say good things, and then to her heart to finalize her prayers

It is important to know that there is not one way to smudge and that when attending a ceremony that it is imperative to take the lead of the Elder and ask questions. Never assume that you have all the answers because you have been taught one way. There is a diversity within the culture that can sometimes be confusing for non-Indigenous peoples. Respect the teachings you are given and be humble as you learn new teachings.

Smudging is a prayer ceremony that is used to help connect our prayers to Creator, therefore smudging should not be used without the proper teachings and guidance and should be used specifically for the purpose it is meant for. Other medicines are used for smudging; however, it is not advised to use them without understanding the proper protocols and the purpose for using them.

Learn more about Indigenous culture in our next newsletter and upcoming blogs.


New Position: Indigenous Legal Advocate

March 15, 2019

The Indigenous Legal Advocate is responsible for the coordination of Indigenous clients in the
court house and assist them with completing their court orders, assisting through the court
processes and providing resources and case management support.

This role will eventually be responsible for assisting the once weekly on the court floor and managing volunteers and ensuring that clients attending court have appropriate navigation of services.

In addition, the Indigenous Legal Advocate will facilitate and manage a monthly collaborative case management table for high and medium acuity individuals with episodic or chronic interactions with the justice system, mental health and/or addictions and may be experiencing homelessness or insecure housing. The Indigenous Legal Advocate will ensure that culture is prioritized to increase wellness and healing of Indigenous clients.

Click Here to Learn More


Blackfoot Language Class 2019

March 7, 2019

The Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary offers Indigenous Language Classes in partnership with Pathways Community Services. Efry Calgary will be holding 12 weeks of conversational Blackfoot Language Classes every Wednesday.
Women of all Nations and their partners are encouraged to join these free sessions. Learn the language, the Stories, and the History of the Blackfoot Territories.

Please note, These classes are not For Professionals.

Date: Starting Wed. Mar. 27, 2019
Location: 1731 – 10AVE SW (efry office)
Time: 6PM – 8PM

To Register: Call – 403.294.0737 Or Email – reception@elizabethfrycalgary.ca


Meet the Pugal family

February 26, 2019

Rowell, his wife Gem, and their children Jet and Jewel. They love the Calgary Zoo and Tuesday movie nights. They’re also big fans of good food—including local staple Big T’s BBQ.

In October 2011, Rowell moved from the Philippines to Canada in search of a better life for his family. He found work in Rimbey, Alberta, but was not able to apply for his permanent resident card, as he was classified as a low-skill worker. A couple years later, Rowell got a new job: Food Service Supervisor. After a year working in the new, skilled position, Rowell was eligible to apply for permanent residency.

In 2015, when Rowell submitted his application, he included his wife and both of their children. Jewel was only 10 years old at the time, but Jet was 19—making him too old to be considered Rowell’s dependent.

So in 2016, when Gem and Jewel joined Rowell in Canada, Jet was left behind in the Philippines.

The Pugal family searched for a way to bring Jet to Canada, but they were up against some sizeable obstacles.

“Besides the numerous misinformations and misdirections, we were faced with the problem of financial difficulty because some of the immigration advisers or consultants we [went] to exorbitant fees,” Rowell said. “And they [could] not even gave us an assurance that my son will be here.”

Armed with questions, Rowell and Gem attended an information session at the Centre for Newcomers. Nicolle, Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant and Immigration Legal Advocate for the Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary, was one of the speakers. After hearing part of their story during the Q&A portion of the evening, Nicolle approached the Pugals to discuss further.

“We felt very relieved and grateful when we had spoken to Ms. Nicolle because of her sincerity and her willingness to help,” Rowell said. “She gave us straight-forward answers. And not to mention, on top of that, EFry services are [free].”

As it turned out, Nicolle had good news for the Pugal family. She told them about a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) proposal to change the age of eligible dependents from 18 to 22 years of age—which could make 19-year-old Jet eligible again.

Immigrant Legal Advocate Program

The Pugal family watched closely as the CIC—which had since been rebranded as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)—moved closer to raising the age limit. Rowell contacted Nicolle in the summer of 2017 when it became clear that the IRCC was going to
confirm the amendment.

“We communicated constantly, and she suggested that we should prepare all the necessary paperworks and all requirements so that when IRCC finally confirm[ed] the amendment, […] we immediately submit my son’s permanent resident application,” Rowell said.

The new maximum age of qualified dependents came into effect on October 24 th , 2017. Jet’s 22nd birthday—which would have made him ineligible again—was only 58 days later.

“The biggest challenge we had [was] timing,” Rowell said. “Ms. Nicolle ‘s suggestion to prepare all requirements and paperworks even before the new revision takes into effect, was very smart, effective, and timely, to say the least.”

Jet arrived in Calgary this December, just in time for his 23rd birthday.

“All of us are very happy, thankful, and [we feel] blessed that after eight loooong years [sic], we were finally able to celebrate my son’s birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s together as a complete family.”

The Pugal family, together at last, is now planning to apply for Canadian citizenship.

“We will be forever grateful to this organization,” Rowell said. “To Ms. Nicolle, and to all the staff, employees, volunteers, contributors, that [comprise] the EFry Society of Calgary.”

Follow this link to learn more about the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Program.