Wahkohtowin Strengthening Families Program

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


Changes to Program due to Covid 19:

Typically, program is delivered in person at all four community organizations. However, due to COVID 19 and the pandemic social distancing recommendations encouraged by public health, all programming is now being offered virtually via online video, chat groups, etc.

About the Program

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.

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)

The Wahkohtowin Strengthening Families Program is a research project and partnership between:

  • Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc.
  • Bilal Community & Family Centre:
  • Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad Inc. (Ndinawe)
  • Spence Neighbourhood Association Inc. (SNA)
  • University of Manitoba


The Wahkohtowin Strengthening Families Program is a 14 week skills development program, for youth aged 11 to 17 and their families, to attend together. Due to the nature of online programming, some families may take more than 14 weeks to complete the program, while others may complete the program more quickly. We try our best to meet families where they are at, as all families have their own unique challenges and strengths.

Each week, families work through program materials with the support of their mentor. A meal and/or groceries (all dietary restrictions including any allergies and halal are observed) are provided to families via zero contact door delivery by their program mentor.

Cultural events, interpretation services (Bilal location), and individual + Family mentorship are also offered. There is no cost for families to attend this fun, voluntary, and culturally informed program.

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

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

Interested in taking the Wahkohtowin program? Know someone who might find our program to be a good fit?

We accept applications and referrals to our program on an ongoing basis. If this program seems like the right fit for you, please contact us!

If you know which site you would like to attend program through, feel free to contact them directly:

If you’re not sure which site you’d like to take program through, feel free to email Natalie Carreiro (Program Manager) at ncarreiro@kanikanichihk.ca

*Please note: We are in the final year of program, and ending December 2020 – unless further funding is secured to carry program beyond this date. If you are interested in taking the program, do not delay! Please connect with us asap.

If you are someone would like to discuss donating to extend the program beyond December 2020, please email Natalie Carreiro (Program Manager) at ncarreiro@kanikanichihk.ca

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.