Wabano provides families with the supports they need to get off to a good start. New and expecting parents can access pre- and post-natal care from an OB/GYN, birthing classes, breastfeeding clinics, and counselling for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
“By bringing in aunties and kookums (grandmothers) the moms start bringing down their walls. They realize they don’t have to do this all on their own. It creates a big sense of belonging.”
– Belinda Larente, Family Wellness Coordinator
They can also connect to one another through community kitchens, traditional parenting workshops and recreational activities through the family drop-in.
But first and foremost, Wabano offers new parents a place to turn to for support and guidance when the going gets tough. A lot of mothers are running from abuse and trauma. Wabano’s parenting programs provide a place of belonging, where it is safe and trust can be built. Parents are empowered with Elders offering teachings on family and child development.
Traditionally, aunties, grandparents and community members would wrap around new parents to help raise children. Grandparents often took care of children while parents worked. This model is being re-created with ‘stand-in’ aunties—women who act as mentors and help with child care.
The aunties and kookums (grandmothers) help the moms bring down their walls. They no longer have to do everything on thier own, they have support, they have a sense of belonging and they help each other.
Wabano’s model of care for parents has been documented in a learning resource for all parents and caregivers of children. The history of colonization in Canada has eroded many of the traditional family systems and beliefs in our communities. The removal of children from our communities disrupted the sharing and passing on of important traditional teachings, stories and ceremonies that are essential to balanced families and communities. The legacy of colonization, residential schools and harmful welfare policies can still be seen today in the high rates of poverty, addictions, and dysfunction in many Aboriginal families and communities.
The Parenting Bundle is a cultural program designed to reintroduce parents and caregivers to traditional roles and responsibilities of parenting. It was developed by the Wabano Parenting Society, comprised of Elders, Knowledge Keepers, Grandmothers and community members. It is a holistic and cultural approach to empowering Aboriginal parents and caregivers in their parenting journey.
The Parenting Bundle is available from the Wabano shop.
Circle of Care: Peaceful Resolutions for Families
Wabano honours the connection children have to their parents, family and community. In partnership with Aboriginal organizations across the city, the centre offers Circle of Care—a traditional approach for families involved with CAS.
Circle of Care helps families navigate the child welfare system and connects them with community resources. It brings together parents, relatives, friends, community and Elders to create a plan for the safety and well-being of children, and to find peaceful resolutions.