KIZHAAY ANISHINAABE NIIN
Is Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway language) for “I am a kind man”, this phrase guides us in how to engage men to take action to end violence against Indigenous women.
7 GRANDFATHER TEACHINGS
Florence and Ernie Benedict – Community Elders
Humility is to Know Yourself as a Sacred Part of Creation
ofifc staff care for the grandfather staff and bundle items
To Honour All of Creation Is To Have Respect
Thunder Bay Indian Friendship Centre Kizhaay Training Group
Honesty in facing a situation is to be brave
Joe Morrison – Elder
To Cherish Knowledge Is To Know Wisdom
Amanda and Charles Slipperjack – Barrie community members
To Know Love Is To Know Peace
Dakota Heon – Indigenous Community Youth Leader North Bay
Bravery Is To Face the Foe with Integrity
Ontario Friendship Centre Youth
Truth is to know all of the Seven Grandfather Teachings and to live by them
All human beings deserve to live a life free from violence. Unfortunately, far too many people will experience violence in their life time. In Indigenous communities, across Canada, violence against Indigenous women has become normalized but occurs in epidemic proportions. Ending violence against Indigenous women requires the commitment of all of us, especially men to end violence in Canada.
We acknowledge patriarchy – where male dominance and male power privileges men over women – as an important cause of violence against women. We also see the strong connection between colonization and violence against Indigenous women. Many non-Indigenous anti-violence movements do not talk about this connection. Understanding violence against Indigenous women means dispelling the view that patriarchy is the sole and/or dominant causing factor in violence against women.
The statistics below show the number of Indigenous women who are affected by violence in Canada in relation to non-Indigneous women.
“Consequent to colonization, forced assimilation, and cultural genocide, the learned negative, cumulative, multi-generational actions, values, beliefs, attitudes and behavioural patterns practiced by one or more people that weaken or destroy the harmony and well-being of an Indigenous individual, family, extended family, community or nationhood.”
The statistics to the right are from the 2014 RCMP Operational Review on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.In 2014, the OFIFC responded to the RCMP Operational Review on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada. Please see the news release and response by clicking below.
SOME SERIOUS FACTS TO CONSIDER
ABOUT VIOLENCE AGAINST INDIGENOUS WOMEN
In 2020, 22% of female homicides in Canada were Indigenous women; In 2020, 7% of female homicides in Ontario were Indigenous women.
In 2018, 27% of female homicide victims in Canada were Indigenous women.
Indigenous women are 44% more likely to experience some form of intimate partner violence (IPV) in their lifetime compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts
Indigenous 2SLGBTQQIA+ women are 86% more likely to experience IPV compared to non-LGBTQQIA+ Indigenous women. Indigenous 2SLGBTQQIA+ women are 5 times more likely to experience a partner revealed, or threaten, to reveal their gender/sexual identity
2020 – 2021
In 2020/2021 there was 34% decrease in adult admissions to provincials and territorial correctional services but despite the overall decrease in admissions, Indigenous men represented 30% of the male admissions to provincial and territorial custody
ATTITUDES, BELIEFS AND BEHAVIOURS
Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin – I am a Kind Man acknowledges that sexism and male privilege are contributing factors to the prevalence of violence against Indigenous women. There are obvious examples of sexism directed at women in everyday life such as being told they are unable to do something because they are a woman, or being told “this is a man’s job”. Commenting on a woman’s appearance, although men may be intending it as a compliment, can also be received as sexism and harassment.
All men have different gifts and different abilities. There is no single set of characteristics that make up what a real man is or what a real man should be. Traditionally, Indigenous men had roles and responsibilities to serve in and participate in creating and maintaining healthy and sustainable communities. Our society is ever changing and our daily lives are constantly evolving. Yet these traditional roles and responsibilities are still important for Indigenous men today.
Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin – I am a Kind Man strongly supports healthy sexuality and the inclusion of people from all gender and sexual identities including those who identify with an LGBTTIQQ2SAPA community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, 2-Spirited, Asexual, PanSexual, and Allies). In order to become healthy men in our communities we must respect the identities of all individuals.
As Indigenous men we know that we all come from diverse backgrounds. There are many different Indigenous Nations and languages in Canada, all with differing practices and traditions. Traditionally both men’s and women’s roles and responsibilities were treated as equally important. Today we must recognize that both men and women can share the same responsibilities, so long as they create balance and a healthy community. The Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin – I am a Kind Man campaign does not privilege the knowledge of men over women. Just because something is traditional or a long standing practice, does not mean it is correct. Openness to change is important to a healthy Indigenous man’s identity. Sometimes it takes courage to create change.
The Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin (I am a kind man) program strives to action the Calls for Justice outlined in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. This includes calls for Justice 5.3 and 5.16; and Calls to Action 31 and 37:
3.2: We call upon all governments to provide adequate, stable, equitable, and ongoing funding for Indigenous-centred and community-based health and wellness services that are accessible and culturally appropriate, and meet the health and wellness needs of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people. The lack of health and wellness services within Indigenous communities continues to force Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people to relocate in order to access care. Governments must ensure that health and wellness services are available and accessible within Indigenous communities and wherever Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people reside.
3.3: We call upon all governments to fully support First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities to call on Elders, Grandmothers, and other Knowledge Keepers to establish community-based trauma-informed programs for survivors of trauma and violence.
3.4: We call upon all governments to ensure that all Indigenous communities receive immediate and necessary resources, including funding and support, for the establishment of sustainable, permanent, no-barrier, preventative, accessible, holistic, wraparound services, including mobile trauma and addictions recovery teams. We further direct that trauma and addictions treatment programs be paired with other essential services such as mental health services and sexual exploitation and trafficking services as they relate to each individual case of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.
5.3: We call upon the federal government to review and reform the law about sexualized violence and intimate partner violence, utilizing the perspectives of feminist and Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.
7.3: We call upon all governments and health service providers to support Indigenous-led prevention initiatives in the areas of health and community awareness, including, but not limited to programming:
- for Indigenous men and boys
- related to suicide prevention strategies for youth and adults
- related to sexual trafficking awareness and no-barrier exiting
- specific to safe and healthy relationships
- specific to mental health awareness related to 2SLGBTQQIA issues and sex positivity
Kind men respect and honour women. Kind men respect and honour men. Kind men respect all that is sacred.
When a man chooses to use violence towards a woman he is dispiriting her. He is changing the very spirit she entered the world as.
Elder Advisor to I am a Kind Man
As a young Indigenous man in Ontario I speak out against violence towards women in Indigenous communities. My vision is to create healthy communities where women and children are safe and respected.
Indigenous Community Youth Leader
The Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin – I am a Kind Man campaign does not privilege one man’s identity over another. The campaign is for all Indigenous men regardless of their skin colour, status, place of birth, where they were raised, or their nation.
20 YEARS OF INDIGENOUS HEALING AND WELLNESS IN ONTARIO
Since its inception in 1994 and over the course of 20 years of service delivery, the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy (AHWS) has contributed to significant change in negative health outcomes and levels of family violence experienced within Indigenous families and communities in Ontario. The strategy finds its origins as a shared commitment between the Government of Ontario and First Nation, Metis and Indigenous partners working alongside of Indigenous communities in ending family violence, violence perpetrated against Indigenous women and children, and improving the general health and wellness of Indigenous people in Ontario. The Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy esteems Indigenous cultural approaches to program and service delivery and continues its ongoing commitment to end violence and improve overall health outcomes within Indigenous families and communities into the current day. The AHWS 20th Anniversary video commemorates the collective history, growth and accomplishments of the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy in Ontario.
The Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin – I am a Kind Man campaign is a step towards returning to our traditional teachings, respect for each other, and a chance for us to envision a world free of violence.
Community Facilitator Start-Up Fund
The Community Facilitator Start-Up Fund is an Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) administered grant opportunity to eligible organizations hosting the OFIFC Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin Community Facilitator Program. The grant can provide programs with up to $5000 to support the delivery of group-based activities and/or public education campaign.
Please submit your completed application by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres
219 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5A 1E8
* Please be advised that Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin is a program and training process of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres. The OFIFC provides all training and recognition. All trainers and training sessions must have prior approval by the OFIFC, and the intellectual property of the OFIFC must be acknowledged.