1. The Provincial Missing Persons Funding for all Missing Persons
Programming includes support groups for families of missing persons and homicide, and counselling services, as outlined by the provincial partnership agreement. As part of this program, Caring Hearts offers education and training about ambiguous loss for groups, individuals and agencies.
2. Support for Families of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women & Girls
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 required 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 the spring of 2017, the project began with a focus on the families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls. Caring Hearts facilitated support circles that included both traditional and western therapeutic approaches in an effort to strengthen the overall mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being of those families experiencing ambiguous loss.
Beginning in April of 2019, CH directed its focus into the northern areas of the province. Support circles included an educational workshop for local Indigenous agencies, and frontline professionals on Ambiguous Loss, and Intergenerational Trauma. Delivered by CH Director of Education and Elder Lorna Standingready, these circles were intended to improve Indigenous health and wellness and provide a greater understanding for those working with families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls and other Missing Persons.
Focus of the Project for the next three years (2020 - 2024)
There is a growing need to develop education/skills at the local level to understand the cycle of grief associated with ambiguous loss, and how to support families in that journey. Local resource persons have expressed a need for more in-depth professional skill development to help them understand the sharing circle process so they can better assess the readiness of families, and be able to provide a more responsive local service that reflects a continuum of care model.
It is this need for capacity building at the local level that will extend the continuum of care for families of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. Pre and post involvement with families is key to their level of comfort. Understanding what to expect in the journey when dealing with ambiguous loss is a critical component that affects willingness to be part of a sharing circle.
The Caring Hearts team, including Elder Lorna Standingready works with families and community care providers during sharing circles that take place in community. Those wishing to participate in the sharing circle are invited to learn more about them by viewing the videos below:
Part 1: Coming Together
Part 2: Smudging
Part 3: Sharing
Part 4: C0nclusion
To access the supports or education for the Provincial Missing Persons Program or the Missing and Murdered indigenous Women and Girls Program either as a Family member or as a frontline service agency, please contact:
DWAYNE YASINOWSKI, Director of Education