Family & Community Wellbeing Programs

Niigaanning Bimaadiziwin Developmental Services

Program Objective: This community-based, family-centered program blends Anishinaabe cultural knowledge with western methods of rehabilitation to support our children and youth to reach their full potential: mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.


  • Developmental screening to identify potential risks to a child’s development and to connect families to services they need
  • Coordinate service planning for children with complex needs in the community – families will be able to access a wide range of services with the assistance of Family Navigators
  • Children will be able to access services in the community such as speech-language, occupational therapy and physiotherapy from birth, through to leaving school
  • Building around the goals of the family, school and community
  • Delivering services in a way which meets the individual needs of the child and family

Right to Play

Program Objectives: Right To Play programs consist of regular weekly activities for children and youth. The activities vary in each community but generally include leadership workshops, sport and recreational activities, volunteer opportunities, community events, sport clinics and youth-led initiatives. RTP strives to create positive change through the guidance of the holistic wheel and its teachings.

Activities include but are not limited to:

  • Free Play
  • Baseball
  • Volleyball
  • Dodgeball
  • Fishing
  • Road Hockey/ Ice Hockey
  • Team Challenges

Communities Serviced:

  • Wauzhushk Onigum Nation (Rat Portage)
  • Shoal Lake #40 First Nation
  • Washagamis Bay First Nation
  • Niisaachewan Anishinaabe Nation (Dalles)
  • Wabaseemoong Independent Nation (Whitedog)
  • Northwest Angle #33 First Nation
  • Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishnabek (Grassy Narrows)
  • Naotkamegwanning First Nation (Whitefish Bay)

Indigenous Rookie League Program

The KCA Indigenous Rookie League program focuses on supporting youth with physical and mental wellness, healing, connection and community involvement through the love of sport. A year-round sports program provides our youth with the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports, activities and leagues in a fun, safe space, allowing them to and learn new skills or further develop existing skills. Our program is for youth ages 5-21.

Rookie League Pillars:

  • Courage – we are brave enough to step up to the plate and try something new
  • Connection – We constantly work to develop healthy relationships between peers and coaches, using teamwork to achieve common goals
  • Care – We create an environment where everyone cares for each other and feels valued
  • Consistency – Our teammates know they can count on us to show up every day and out in our best effort

Indigenous Rookie League serves nine First Nation Communities around the Kenora region:

  • Niisachewan First Nation
  • Washagamis Bay First Nation
  • Wabaseemoong First Nation
  • Shoal Lake #40 First Nation
  • Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation
  • Grassy Narrows First Nation
  • Northwest Angle #37
  • Northwest Angle # 33
  • Naotkamegwanning First Nation

Kenora Chiefs Advisory & the Indigenous Rookie League program are honored to have partnership with Jays Care Foundation home of the Toronto Blue Jays & Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Wiisokodaadig Peer Helpers Program

The Kenora Chiefs Advisory has been providing the Wiisokodaadig Program for youth since 2008. In 2015 the program was given the name Wiisokodaadig through a ceremony by Elder Andy White. The previous name was the Peer Helpers Program. The program is funded by Save the Children Canada, with whom Kenora Chiefs Advisory has developed a positive and strong working relationship. It is also funded by FNHIB. The program is managed by the Director of Mental Health and Addictions Program, and is delivered by the Wiisokodaadig Coordinator. In addition, the Team Leaders and Case Managers of the Mental Health & Additions Team help with presentations and debriefing support during the training program. The program’s goal is to build community capacity by providing peer support training to youth. This training is based on the teen experience and reality of daily life in communities. It is a two-tiered approach of suicide prevention and helping at-risk youth cope, build resilience and confidence while experiencing life challenges.

The curriculum of the Wiisokodaadig Program has been adapted to the culture and teachings of the Anishinaabeg to ensure cultural continuity. The Wiisokodaadig Program utilizes the Anishinaabe Circle model (holistic approach) as the foundation for the program, in order to facilitate the teachings of becoming a confident Wiisokodaadig Peer Helper. The framework is based on the four aspects of a person: mind (mental), body (physical), spirit (spiritual), and heart (emotional). Within each quadrant, there are modules that correspond with the Seven Sacred Teachings. The program consists of two parts.  Both parts are guided by the Anishinaabe Circle through the four doorways: North, East, South and West.  Part I begins in the East – Spiritual, which covers modules regarding Anishinaabe identity, history, and culture. The next doorway for Part I continues in the South – Physical, which covers topics related to individuals, families, and communities.  Part II begins in the West – Mental, which covers comprehensive modules involving Mental Wellness, Problem Solving, and Leadership. The final doorway for both Parts I & II is in the North – Emotional, which covers understanding, navigating and sharing the emotional aspects of life.

For more information, please contact:

Donna Hendrickson, Program Coordinator

Family Wellbeing Program

Program Objective: 

  • Reduce violence in families and interrupt the cycle of violence
  • Reduce the need to bring Indigenous children and youth into the child welfare and youth justice systems
  • Make progress in improving the overall health and wellbeing of communities

Cultural Support Services

The Cultural Support Services is a primary resource to the staff at KCA in the delivery of Anishinaabe best practices for healing and promoting healthy lifestyles. The program promotes holistically healthy lifestyles by conducting/facilitating Healing Circles and other Anishinaabe ways of healing and support. The Cultural Coordinator provides Anishinaabe cultural orientation to new staff, workshops and education to staff/individuals, families and communities to maintain cultural identity and practices.

Kenora Makwa Patrol

Kenora Makwa Patrol

Kenora Makwa Patrol is a community-driven, culturally safe grassroots initiative that is committed to promoting and providing safety to individuals within the City of Kenora. The Patrol is a visible point of contact for vulnerable populations to connect to services that support their wellbeing. Following the 7 Grandfather teachings, the Patrol builds strong relationships within the community based on respect and understanding.

Program Objectives:

  • Promoting and providing safety to vulnerable people in Kenora
  • Connecting the vulnerable population to services in Kenora
  • Providing services in a culturally responsive way
  • Relationship building with organizations in Kenora

Kenora Makwa Patrol Help Line:
807-464-SAFE (7233)

Kenora Makwa Patrol

Anti Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking is the buying and or selling of individuals for a purpose of financial gain. Human trafficking can take many forms including; sexual exploitation, labor, or drug trafficking.   Human trafficking can include recruiting, harboring or controlling a person’s movements using force, physical or psychological coercion, or deception.

Our Mission Statement

The Anti-human Trafficking branch of the Kenora Chiefs Advisory aims to offer support to survivors and those currently experiencing human trafficking. Through KCA programing like trauma counselling, spiritual reconnection and cultural education our team strives to create a safe program that can help those effected by human trafficking to rebuild their lives.

The main objective of a program like this is to offer wrap around supports for victims. The immense need for a program that offers services tailored to Human Trafficking victims and survivors is evident in the rising prevalence of this issue in our Northern Communities. We at KCA (AHT) are pushing for specific programming offered locally to victims in a way that makes them feel connected and cared for. The program we are building not only fulfills this objective but offers us space to expand and grow to meet the needs of more victims in various levels of need in the future.

Our Commitment to Prevention Education

Education is at the forefront of human trafficking, due to the limited amount of resources and exposure to prevention education victims may find themselves unable to identify the harmful situation they are in and further are unable to access the services needed to get help.

We have developed an education-based presentation to share with community members, victims and citizens of our Northern communities to help teach the warning signs, common red flags, dangers of online luring, and resources to reach out to for help. Along with this presentation we have survivors accounts to share. Sharing of personal stories often can help victims feel a connection between them and the presenter. This helps us teach youth and victims that they are not alone and that we are there to help them in which ever way they see fit at that time. The impact of in person survivor accounts is astronomical and often is the element that hits home the hardest for most people.

Cultural Connection

At the Kenora Chiefs Advisory we recognize the importance of connection to one’s culture and heritage, because of this we have developed many facets within our program to expand and nurture our client’s spiritual journey to healing.

Services Offered

The Anti-Human Trafficking program is centered around victims and works to ensure there are accessible supports offered to assist in healing after trauma. Some of the approaches we use in our program are;

  • Talk therapy
  • Trauma based counselling
  • Pet therapy
  • Emotional Support Activities

What to look for

There are many signs to look for to determine whether someone you know is being Human Trafficked. If you or someone you know identifies with one or more of the following statements please reach out for help.

  • Warning signs that someone you know may be being trafficked:
    • They are not allowed to speak for themselves and their activities are controlled by someone else
    • They are under 18 and involved in prostitution or sex work
    • They are unpaid or paid very little to work and seem to be treated poorly (long or unusual hours, not allowed breaks or forced to live in poor conditions)
    • They are repaying a large debt through labour or sex
    • They seem fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, nervous or paranoid (they may avoid eye contact or seem fearful around police)
    • They show signs of abuse, such as bruising, cigarette burns or fractures
    • They are withdrawing
    • They are or have been reported missing
    • They have a second phone/ multiple secret social media accounts etc.
  • Warning signs that someone might be a trafficker or involved in Trafficking:
    • They offer you extravagant gifts asking for nothing in return
    • The person is controlling, to an extreme
      • Financially controlling
      • Controlling what they wear/ who they talk to/ where they go and when
    • They ask you to give sexual favours to “friends” or others for them
    • They use manipulation or guilt to get people to do things for them
    • They are abusive in any of the ways
      • Emotionally
      • Physically
      • Sexually

Where to Get Help?

  • KCA AHT Program
  • Kenora Sexual Assault Crisis Line
  • Treaty 3 Police/ OPP
  • Canadian Anti-Human Trafficking Hotline

Youth Focused

“Our closets are full of sexual abuse victims. Too often victims are pushed back into the closet due to fears of being ostracised…We need to create an atmosphere where people can open up and go on with their healing.”

Anti Human Trafficking Strategy

A Community Driven Project led by survivors, guided by Elders and implemented through partnerships.

*Based on consultations with Survivors, Elders and Community Partners in the development of grant application.

Indigenous Healing and Wellness Program

Turtle logo

The Indigenous Healing and Wellness program at KCA is funded by MCCSS and provides administrative support and facilitation to the Health Network which is made up of Health Directors of the 9 KCA member communities.

IHWS also provides administrative support and training for the delivery of the following programs in 5 of our member communities (Naotkamegwanning, Niisaachewan, Washagamis Bay, Shoal Lake 40 Grassy Narrows);

  • Community Wellness
  • Healthy Babies, Healthy Children
  • Mental Health Program (Circle of Hope in Naotkamegwanning)

KCA employees that are responsible for the IHWS programs are Director of Health Promotion and Prevention, Jocelyne Goretzki and Health Assistant, Lucille Mckenzie.