The Lodge and Restorative Practice Team
We are a multiservice agency responsible for the protection of children and youth; the delivery of developmental services for children, youth and adults; and the facilitation of programs and services to help strengthen families and support their learning, growth and relationships with their children. Within our organization, we run a First Nations Lodge that provides programming and services; Waka-ehi Lodge promotes the important practice of Circle and traditional values of respect, equality, participation and listening, while naturally fostering cooperation. In the Lodge, we hold open houses and other events where we provide teachings through our knowledge keepers and elders for those who want to learn. Our open houses are all ages; people can share a meal, do crafts with their children and socialize with others who attend creating a support group for those that need it. We are building a community to help people to support each other and would like to create more opportunities for the people in the community.
The 7 Grandfathers Teachings
Our cultural teachings have been traditionally passed down from generation to generation orally through stories and ceremonies. Historically, this has been done by the elders that carry the stories and traditions. Today, oral traditions are being shared by those who carry the knowledge of such things. The teachings of all Indigenous cultures encompass the morals, values, structures, ceremonial practices, spiritual beliefs of the group. These teachings also ensured the survival of the people. For Indigenous people, the teachings vary from nation to nation, because of the geographical placement of each particular group. However, the teachings commonly come from the same root and share a similar message.
Of all the North American Indigenous teachings, the 7 Grandfather Teachings are the most commonly shared from coast to coast. Many Indigenous organizations and communities have adopted the 7 guiding principals, in one form or another, as a moral stepping stone and cultural foundation. There are stories of the origins of the 7 Grandfather Teachings in all communities. Each community has adapted the teachings to suit their community values. Despite where the teachings may have originated, they share the same concepts of abiding by a moral respect for all living things.
OACAS Nine Key Commitments to Indigenous Communities
- Reduce the number of Indigenous children in care.
- Reduce the number of legal files involving Indigenous children and families.
- Increase the use of formal customary care* agreements.
- Ensure Indigenous representation and involvement at the local Board of Directors.
- Implement mandatory Indigenous training for staff.
- Change their inter-agency protocol to include Jordan’s Principle as a fundamental principle.
- In consultation with the Indigenous communities, develop a unique agency-based plan to
- better address the needs of the children and families from those communities
- Continue to develop relationships between their agency and the local Indigenous communities
- Assist those individuals wanting to see their historical files by accessing and providing the
- information they request.