Wahkohtowin Strengthening Families Program

Strengthen Bonds. Decrease Conflict. Improve Communication. Connect with Culture.

The Wahkohtowin Strengthening Families Program and research project is delivered by four community organizations working in partnership, along with the University of Manitoba leading an ongoing evaluation. Families are encouraged to select the site most comfortable and convenient for them:

  • Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. – 455 McDermot Ave.
    Tuesdays from 5 – 8pm
  • The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba Inc. (IRCOM) – 95 Ellen St., 215 Isabel St., 441 Carlton St.
    Saturdays from 11am – 3pm
  • Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad Inc. (Ndinawe) – 472 Selkirk Ave.
    Mondays from 5 – 8pm
  • Spence Neighbourhood Association Inc. (SNA) – 365 McGee St.
    Thursdays from 5 – 8pm

Program Description

Wahkohtowin Strengthening Families Program is a 14 week skills development program, for youth aged 11 to 17 and their families, to attend together. Each week, families attend program at the location of their choice for a 3 hour workshop. A meal (all dietary restrictions including any allergies and halal are observed), childminding for children under 10, and assistance with transportation are provided. Cultural events, interpretation services (IRCOM location), and in-home mentorship are also offered. There is no cost for families to attend this fun, voluntary, and culturally informed program.  

Wahkohtowin means “everything is related.” It is one of the basic principles of Cree Natural Law passed through language, song, prayer, and storytelling. The elders explain that by following the teachings of Wahkohtowin individuals, communities and societies are healthier.

(Source: http://www.bearpaweducation.ca/videos/wahkohtowin-cree-natural-law)

We honor Wahkohtowin by acknowledging the unique connections we share with each other, our communities, and our land.

The Strengthening Families Program is an evidence-based, family skills development program that has been found to significantly improve family relationships, decrease youth substance use, and improve school competencies. It is internationally recognized as one of the top rated family programs for all families.

Registration Requirements

In order to register for the program, families must have at least one youth between the ages of 11 and 17, be willing to complete an anonymous survey before and after program, and be experiencing one or more of the following criteria:

  • High levels of conflict within the family – this may include family violence, excessive punishment, conflict with the law
  • Risk of gang involvement
  • Use of substances
  • Teens frequently absent from school
  • Marginalization due to socioeconomic status (i.e. poverty or racism)
  • Involved with other local resources or agencies, such as Justice or Child and Family Services

Registration / Referral Process

Intake occurs 3 times per year at each location, usually in Spring, Summer and Winter. Families may register for the program by contacting any of delivery sites listed below. Families will be asked to complete a registration form, which includes a short needs-assessment in order to determine suitability for the program. Families will be contacted within 1 week of receiving the referral form, to set up an intake appointment.

Referrals are accepted on behalf of families by local service providers, non-profit organizations, as well as Winnipeg School Division, CFS and Winnipeg Police.

To download a copy of the registration form, please click here.

To download a copy of the referral form, please click here.

To download a copy of our information flyer to display at your organization, please click here.

Contact Information

For referral or registration information, or to request a presentation at your organization, please contact:

Amy Graham, Project Manager
Ph.: 204-953-5820, ext. 243, or email amyg@kanikanichihk.ca

To connect or register with a  specific location, please contact one of our Site Coordinators:

Ka Ni Kanichihk
Ph.: 204-953-5820, ext. 244

IRCOM
Ph.: 204-880-2483

Ndinawe
Ph.: 204-586-2588, ext. 9, or email wahkohtowin@ndinawe.ca

Spence Neighbourhood Association
Ph.: 204-798-1661