Circle of Healing Program
The Circle of Healing Journey 45 Day Cultural intervention includes intense spiritual sweats, learning from Elders, sharing circles, life skills, housing and ongoing culturally safe supports. The COH takes a community approach working collaboratively with Indigenous stakeholders to address the needs of; 1) Brothers and Sisters who are on Statutory Release(s) (with residency or not), Long Term Supervision Orders (LTSOs) or who have a special condition of release to reside at a specific place who are reintegrating back into the community; and 2) Indigenous men and women as well as those who are homeless, or at risk of being homeless.
The Circle of Healing Journey is an Indigenous based program designed for Indigenous Brothers and Sisters the require intensive interventions; i.e. for addictions and trauma. This is a 45-day program that is individualized for each person and meets individuals where they are at in a non-judgmental and holistic manner. Each session is counted as one day and the program includes optional programs as well as required programs and in order to complete they must complete all 45 sessions.
The sessions may include meeting with Elders, Career Planning, Sweat Lodge Ceremonies, Counselling, Cultural Teachings, AA/NA, Warriors Against Violence, Employment and Career Planning, housing and Resource Services.
Employment and Career Planning Service
COELS provides Brothers and Sisters a culturally sensitive pre-employment program for men and women facing multiple barriers; including reintegration, mental and physical disabilities, homelessness, long-term incarceration, poverty and substance use. This program has operated for many years and has had successful employment and further training results. Referrals to the program are open to the Indigenous community in the Downtown Eastside. The program has four intakes per year for men and women in the age range from 18-65.
The program combines skills of the organization and its facilitators to meet the needs of the Brothers and Sisters as well as labour force demands for entry-level, semi-skilled and certified labour force. The majority of the program will focus on pre-employment skill development through training and certifications such as Level 1 First Aid, WHMIS, Traffic Control, Food Safe, Confined Spaces, and other coursed in general office skills, introductory computer skills, cashier training, life skills, prosocial behaviour, independent living skills, problem solving and essential skills. The program will also cover community volunteering, urban exploration and basis Math and English.
To date many of the Brothers and Sisters that have taken this program are living pro-social healthy lifestyles as contributing members of society.
Housing and Resource Service
COEL Housing and Services Program (HASP) provides assistance to Indigenous people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness assistance in finding and securing housing. HASP provides clients an opportunity to find long-term or more stable housing options. We work primarily with Brothers and Sisters who are leaving the Correctional System, as well as the community. HASP also offers RentSmart program which is considered to many landlords in the GVRD as a reference.
Website and Social Development
Cedar branch has developed a website of resources for what the Brothers an Sisters can use in reintegrating into the community.
Culture and Traditional Teachings
There are Elders and Spiritual Advisors available through the Cedar branch as well as twice yearly we have a healing journey to Tsetsusem.
Cultural Programs and Services
Sweat Lodge Ceremonies
Sweat Lodge Ceremonies are held at the Clark Drive building every Wednesday for the Sisters of Anderson Lodge as well as other women in the community. Every Sunday a Sweat Lodge is held for the Brothers as well as other men in the community. The last Sunday of every month has been scheduled for the community.
Sweat Lodges have been a tradition for First Nations throughout North America and the Sweat Lodge has been at this site since Circle of Eagles lodge inception.
Brothers and Sisters are encouraged to attend the Sweat Lodge Ceremonies as part of their healing journey.
COELS is a Section 84 facility and Brothers and Sisters are encouraged to use this Section in the Corrections and Conditional Release Act. (See Section 84 Handbook.)