OFIFC Receives Funding to Support Aboriginal Men in Ending Violence Against Aboriginal Women
Toronto, ON, July 29, 2015 – The Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) has received funding from the Ontario Women’s Directorate (OWD) to expand its work on ending violence against women and girls through additional support for Aboriginal men.
Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin – I am A Kind Man, is an awareness campaign based on individual participation and training of community facilitators that focuses on the role men and boys play in ending violence against Aboriginal women and girls. It specifically focuses on the history of women’s and men’s roles in Indigenous cultures, trauma suffered by men in the past that contributes to loss of power, and how men can regain their cultural identity for stronger personal and community development.
This funding, over three years, is an extension of work supported by the Government of Ontario in response to the recommendations set out in the Strategic Framework to End Violence Against Aboriginal Women in Ontario.
Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin – I am A Kind Man, is specifically targeted for men and boys. The name comes from the Aboriginal men’s anti-violence campaign in Thunder Bay and was chosen by the late Peter O’Chiese, an Elder who taught others the responsibility of Aboriginal men and Aboriginal men’s traditional roles in family and community.
‘In order to be a kind man, we must acknowledge sexism and the reality that men experience a greater degree of privilege in society. We must stop behaviors that put women down or make them feel unsafe in our communities’, says Sylvia Maracle, Executive Director of the OFIFC. Maracle continues, ‘This funding allows communities to include men in solution based programming that has real and lasting results’.
Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin – I am A Kind Man is currently being shared and rolled out in partnerships in Ontario, in Alberta with the Alberta Native Friendship Centre Association, and with First Nations bands in British Columbia.