"The Family Center is a warm, safe, healing place of support. The programs and staff have seen our family through crises, instability, and change for a better life. Learning of our native heritage and sacred ways has strengthened us along the way. Deep gratitude! We have been blessed!" -- A community member served by AIFC
Healing Generations: In 2017, AIFC’s mental health services continued to serve youth and adults with individual, group and/or family therapy and case management services both onsite and within 4 Saint Paul Public Schools including the American Indian Magnet School, Johnson Senior High School, Agape High School and Harding Senior High School. Through this work, the Healing Generations staff served 19 community members for a total of 195 case management sessions; 139 community members for a total of 1,813 therapy sessions, and a combined total of 2,229 sessions provided through all mental health services.
Soogizin Dodem (Strengthening Families): In 2017, Soogizin Dodem continued to “Strengthen Families” through a trauma-informed psychoeducation group serving 13 families. During this weekly group, families came together to create traditional crafts including beaded medallions, practicing and learning of traditional ways of living and healing.
Dreamcatchers: Dreamcatchers continues to provide children with a therapeutic outlet to discuss trauma and teach culturally-specific and age-specific lessons. This program served 18 youth between the ages of 7-12 in 2017, with a total of 143 sessions dedicated to the mental health and wellbeing of youth
Wakanyeja Kin Wakan Pi (Our Children are Sacred) Women’s Health program: In 2017, the Women’s Health team continued to incorporate the Positive Indian Parenting curriculum and education to mothers. The curriculum involved using cultural teachings and practices as parenting tools. Through these weekly sessions and workshops; 12 mothers made Baby Moccasins; 9 mothers made traditional baby blankets; 22 mothers attended a community baby shower; and a combined total of 47 car seats and Pak-n-Plays were given to community members to support the safety and wellbeing of their infants! In 2017, the program enrolled 40 new mothers into the program, serving a total of 52 children.
Wakanyeja Kin Wakan Pi (Our Children are Sacred) Women’s Recovery and Wellness program (WKWP): In 2017, the WKWP Recovery program added a weekly and ongoing Peer Recovery Support Group for Native American women to support them to maintain sobriety. This addition to the program has been a valuable resource for Native women who are attempting to maintain their sobriety. The Women’s Recovery program continues to serve women and mothers and is planning for expansion in the year 2018, to include a Peer Recovery Support Group for men and youth, and AIFC is also in the process of becoming certified as an outpatient recovery site.
Ombi’ayaa Anishinabe-Ininiiwug (“Rise up Original Men”) Father and Men’s program: A few 2017 highlights include the Father and Men’s softball team, “Boozhoo Stickz,” participating in a Summer and Fall softball league, a Winter Basketball team, “ogichidaag,” who took third place in the league. In addition, the Father and Men’s program attended language and cultural camps around ricing, maple syrup and birch bark basket making. In 2017, the Father and Men’s program served 30 families and enrolled an additional 20 new community members. This group continues to be “for the men and by the men!”
Zuya Wo Ohiya (Journey to Success) Employment Services program: In 2017, 187 individuals were served through Ramsey County Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) employment and family stabilization services provided at the AIFC. In addition, the AIFC Beading Group, designed to allow community members with a space to come together and share with one another struggles and resources while creating traditional and cultural artwork, served an additional 13 families!
Thinica Owichakiyapi Thipi (Helping the Homeless Build) program: NEW PROGRAM ALERT! In October 2017, the AIFC began its housing program, Thinica Owichakiyapi Thipi – Helping the Homeless Build. This program provides prevention services to families at risk of becoming homeless and support services to families experiencing homelessness. Our Housing Stability Specialist provides the community with a connection to community resources, landlord mediation and engagement, and connection to legal assistance, to name a few. In the last quarter of 2017, AIFC’s Thinica Owichakiyapi Thipi program served four families with prevention services, including 8 children.
Caŋ/Mitig Early Learning Family Support program: In 2017, the Pre-Kindergarten Readiness team served 101 youth and their families with early learning program enrollment and community engagement services, including home-visits and culturally-specific community events such as language learning tables, talking circles and powwows.
Bimaadiziwin Mikana (The Path of Life) Parent Mentor program: In 2017, Bimaadiziwin Mikana held 36 parent education sessions, serving a total of 33 parenting community members and 48 children with a traditional and holistic service model designed to traditional Indian parenting skills and self-efficacy and leadership skills in families. Since beginning in April of 2016, the Bimaadiziwin Mikana program has served a total of 48 community members, including mothers, fathers and grandmothers and 72 children.
Waaban Ogimaawag (Tomorrow’s Leaders) Native Youth program: In 2017, the AIFC youth services were designed to engage youth in cultural teachings and services that promote Native youth resiliency through leadership, community, social and economic development. The Waaban Ogimaawag program continues to grow to incorporate additional supports and resources including a summer gardening project, a youth advisory council and a Youth Engagement Specialist.
2017 Highlights and Outcomes
Where American Indian Families Thrive!