In an effort to address the increasing need for education and counselling supports surrounding the various types of loss due to death (and traumatic loss in particular), Caring Hearts began working with the provincial and federal government in support of a Missing Persons Initiative, a targeted program that provides counselling to families of persons who have gone missing throughout Saskatchewan.
Following the Federal Government's call for a formal inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, we recognized the Families of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women & Girls (FMMIWG) in Saskatchewan would require both direct and indirect assistance. It is widely recognized that a gap in services exists for these families, and in particular support regarding specialized ambiguous loss and trauma, counselling, and group services provided in a trauma informed manner for FMMIWG.
In spring of 2017, our groundwork began and support for the families of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls through The Case Project was started.
WHAT IS THE CASE PROJECT?
In The CASE project builds upon the work that began with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice which provides culturally sensitive, western therapeutic counselling supports to the families of Missing Persons. In addition, Caring Hearts works closely with an elder to be able to offer families traditional healing practices.
- C - Counsel families and victims
- A - Advocate for services to support Families of Missing or Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (FMMIWG)
- S - Support families and victims with a variety of services and programs specially developed to serve FMMIWG
- E - Educate our province and its varying communities so they can build capacity which results in a library of both human and tangible resources, and increased networks of support.
Caring Hearts is able to provide counselling support options for Families of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls through either Western or Traditional Therapeutic methods. Our organization works closely with Elder Harry Francis to provide families with this guided Traditional approach.
Harry Francis, Elder
As an Elder, Harry’s role is defined not by his age. It is defined by the devotion he shows to his community. He is an educator, spiritual advisor, guidance counselor, therapist and traditional teacher. It is a role he cherishes and takes on with great esteem, as he is very well aware of the responsibilities that go along with the title.
Harry has been a community leader for 30 years and his role is vital to the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional well-being of those seeking support in both the western and traditional ways. His prayers have guided countess individuals and families through difficult times. His advocacy has brought clarity, safety and assuredness to the same.
One of Harry’s areas of proficiency is with addiction recovery. He is certified in Advanced Counselor Training and Community Addictions Training through the Nechi Training, Research and Health Promotions Institute. He specializes in crisis management, residential school trauma, suicide, grief, co-occurring disorders and is an authority in Western and Aboriginal therapeutic approaches.
Harry was born and raised on the Piapot First Nation. He is recognized and supported by his home community. Harry has dedicated his entire life to his community; teaching traditional ways, languages and ceremony in order to preserve a culture steeped in historical significance.
To access the supports or education of The CASE Project - either as a Family of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls or as a frontline service agency, please contact
DWAYNE YASINOWSKI, Education Coordinator
firstname.lastname@example.org or (306)523-2786