People Supported Lead Ceremony for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
- October 27, 2021
On September 29, the members of St.Amant’s community gathered around a sacred fire to prepare their hearts, minds and spirits for Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
A number of people supported by St.Amant are Indigenous or of Indigenous descent and receive services throughHealth and Transition Services (H&TS). St.Amant and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) shared in the opportunity to host a sacred fire ceremony at 440 River Road. The people St.Amant support led us in this ceremony and were involved with every aspect throughout the day. “There was a gentleman who played his drum at the ceremony. At the exact moment he began playing and singing the sacred fire ignited. There was another gentleman who brought his guitar and began to sing for those who were attending the fire. Marda, who is on a journey to become an elder, is one of our Fire Keepers. So is Sam. Being a Fire Keeper is a big responsibility and there are many teachings associated with this role. When the fire needs more wood, it’s our Fire Keepers who take care of us,” says Suzanne Mozdzen (Little Rock Standing Hawk Woman), Social Worker at St.Amant. “The people we support are leading this ceremony.”
At the ceremony, there was a small feast of bannock and jam; people brought donations of non-perishable food items which were later delivered to The Bear Clan Patrol’s North End Den in Winnipeg to support that community; a smudge was offered to all who attended the fire; everyone sang and drummed; St.Amant’s CEO read The Orange Shirt Story written by Phyllis Webstad; and members of the community, including St.Amant staff and volunteers, and children from River Road Child Care (RRCC), offered tobacco, berries, and notes to the fire. “The idea behind offerings is that the smoke will carry them into the spirit world to our ancestors,” explains Stephanie Van Haute (Circling Hawk), Director of Patient Services for the Indigenous Health Program at WRHA. “So if we think about the children who never came home from residential schools, our offerings will reach them. Some people even believe that the care we give to them today, will reach them back in time when they were suffering. It’s on a soul-level. We’re taking care of their souls.”
The sacred fire touched many people for different reasons. “My aunt was dishonored for who she was for so many years,” says Verna Eyers, employee at St.Amant. “She took abuse from people who said she wasn’t good enough. She, herself, believed she wasn’t good enough. But she was always good enough. I’m here today to honour the history, to honour ten thousand years or more of people who were here long before settlers. I’m here to honour my aunt.”
For Andrew, the sacred fire was a way to honour the truth of people who were separated from ceremony in residential schools and across Canada for years. “I learned today that Indigenous ceremony was banned for 70 years in Canada,” says Andrew David Terhoch, Spiritual Health Practitioner at St.Amant. “The children from River Road Childcare Centre, St.Amant School and our autism classrooms who attended the ceremony, they are part of the first generation who will grow up knowing Canada’s whole history and truth. Their presence was important. It reminded us of the truth for the children who came before them—who were forbidden from sitting at a sacred fire.”
For Roeio, the sacred fire was an opportunity to reflect. “I feel very emotional to participate in this significant ceremony. All people must be involved in this journey to reconciliation. We must learn from the past. This very sad past must not repeat again,” says Roeio Farje, volunteer at St.Amant.
The 4Directions Group and the Knowledge Keepers team at St.Amant thank the community of Tootinwaziibeing for gifting us with medicines and a beautiful Grandfather Rock that was used at our fire, the McTavish Family for the antler that will be added to our sacred bundle, and Bonnie Murray from the WRHA for the natural tobacco she grew in her garden and gifted to us for the fire and our sacred bundle.
Update to St.Amant Families – October 22, 2021
- October 22, 2021
Dear St.Amant Families,
Every stage of the pandemic brings us different needs and challenges. As we approach the date that the St.Amant COVID-19 vaccine policy comes into effect, we will, unfortunately lose a small percentage of our team. This has not been easy for anyone and I feel great compassion for anyone whose personal values are not in line with the policy, but who, we know care greatly about the people we support. I want to acknowledge and thank those staff for their dedicated service and we wish them all the best.
It does leave us with a small gap in staffing, which thanks to our program’s good contingency planning, is manageable. However, we are embarking on a public recruitment campaign and we know that often we find the best employees by referral. Please send any good people our way!
Thanks to staff who continue to follow the strict public health protocols, and who chose to be vaccinated, we are still not seeing high COVID-19 numbers within staff or people we support. Thank you for continuing to be diligent when you visit and in how you follow the orders in your everyday life – it all makes a big difference.
We are looking to plan our second family town hall at the end of November, so please watch for that invitation. If there are any topics you would like to see addressed at that meeting, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you were able to take part in last year’s Virtual Halloween Party, you know that it’s going to be a frightening good time! The party is tonight so feel free to sign up, grab your costume and join in the fun.
President & CEO
Ways to Honour Jordan River Anderson
- October 22 marks the birthday of Jordan River Anderson from Norway House Cree Nation.
He was born in 1999 with a rare muscle disorder known as Carey-Fineman-Ziter Syndrome. At the age of two, Jordan’s family was given the go ahead to have Jordan live outside of the hospital with specialized services required to support Jordan in a home. These services where not put in place due to disputes of the coverages to cost for services between the provincial and federal government.
Unfortunately, Jordan lived his full 5 years inside of a hospital. He died in 2005.
Jordan’s Principle is a child first principle and legal rule named in memory of Jordan River Anderson. This young boy and his fight for equitable treatment lead the way to allow for First Nation and Inuit children to have the opportunity to receive sustainable equality through the Jordan’s Principle First initiative providing social, health and educational services. Today, we invite you to honour Jordan’s memory by taking time to learn about Jordan and Jordan’s Principle at the following links.
Why is St.Amant involved with Jordan’s Principle?
We embrace the vision of Indigenous-led organizations that are delivering services to children and their families. St.Amant has a long history of supporting Indigenous people, both directly at the center as well as in the community. We work with individuals with varying abilities and are constantly focusing on helping children and clients to remain connected to their families and culture. We do not believe families should have to choose between where they live and having access to compassionate care for their child. St.Amant has a commitment to reconciliation and due to the high population of Indigenous people supported a unique program was developed to provide high quality and dignified care through a person centered approach.
Using our values of hospitality, excellence, and respect, we began collaborating with First Nations in Manitoba to begin the conversation about addressing needs that the communities had for their children and families. All children in Manitoba deserve quality care, regardless of where they live.
What does service look like with St.Amant Jordan’s Principle clinicians?
Service is predominantly provided in the community. Due to the current pandemic we have also included virtual services in our model, however our first priority is to come to the family. Goals are developed with the client while they are in a safe and comfortable environment.
Training and education, on a variety of topics, is available to communities upon request. Training can be provided in-person or virtually.
Direct services include: Psychology (Behavioural) Services, Psychometric testing to provincial adult disability services, Family Care Social Work, Counselling, Nurse Consultation, Dietitian Services, and Music Therapy.
If a family is interested in services, they can self-refer or connect with the local Jordan’s Principle team to fill out a referral form. The referral form is also available on the St.Amant website. www.stamant.ca/programs/jordansprinciple
What does each St.Amant Jordan’s Principle service area offer?
Psychology (Behaviour) Services
For children and youth who show challenging behaviour as defined by the caregiver. Typical referrals include support for child who demonstrate aggression, property destruction, self-injury, outbursts, difficulty with daily living skills, or difficulty communicating with others. Goals will be decided by the family to increase positive behaviours, promote independence, and improve the quality of life for the child. Clinicians within Psychology Services have experience working with children diagnosed with intellectual disabilities and autism. However, a diagnosis is not required for service.
Family Care Social Work
In the short term, our social workers aim to support families intensively by enhancing family functioning, prevent unplanned or emergency out-of-home placements, and support with navigating housing inquiries. Like all of St.Amant’s services, working with Family Care is voluntary. Some reasons for referrals may be bullying or difficulty making friends, communication barriers between caregiver and school, family breakdown, divorce or relocation, and navigating health systems.
Our counsellors provide in-depth, non-crisis counselling. Sessions focus on helping the individual to understand themselves and their different emotions, talk about past trauma, work through grief and/or create bonds with others. Services are available to the child, parents, and other family members. Typical referral reasons include: impact of a disability on the child or the family, grief and loss, depression and anxiety, relationship challenges, strengthening communication skills, and other stressful life events the individual or family may identify.
Our nurse consultants have experience working with children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and complex medical needs. If there is a child that is in the process of hospital discharge, a nurse consultant can help with that process and transition back home. Nurses from St.Amant Jordan’s Principle collaborate with the healthcare team of the community. On First Nations, training can be provided for respite workers, extended family, or Child and Family Services staff. Scheduled reviews will be conducted with nurses at nursing stations, health centres, and home care.
Our dietitians have expertise in working with children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, but a diagnosis is not required. Dietitians support families to use affordable and traditional foods in a creative and healthy way. Typical referrals include challenging eating, highly selective eating, or working with families to create healthy eating and portions. Other reasons for referral include bowel issues, diabetes, celiac, or cardiovascular disease, guidance for weight loss or weight gain.
Our psychometrists use standardized tests to determine eligibility for Community Living disability Services (CLdS). This service is primarily used for youth who choose live off-reserve as adults. Assessments that aim to assist the Supported Living Program in determining eligibility are completed for individuals aged 16 years and older. Youth referred for assessment will be placed on the wait-list until they have reached 16 years of age. A Community Service Worker or a Family Service Worker may apply for psychological testing. The CSP application form is available online.
Our music therapists use music to support personal growth, health, and well-being. Some things that families work on in music therapy is using their voice or communication device to practice speech-focused goals, bonding with a new caregiver, increasing and maintaining range of motion in arms, and/or taking turns. Some of things you might see in a session include: playing instruments, dancing, and singing. Music therapy sessions are typically 30-45 minutes long and will vary from person-to-person. Our music therapist can also provide workshops explaining what Music Therapy is, Ways to use Music therapy at home and talk about Music and Emotions.
St.Amant Hosts Virtual Take Our Kids To Work Day 2021
- October 21, 2021
Calling all employees with children or family members in grade nine! St.Amant is excited to participate once again in Canada’s National Take Our Kids to Work Day on Wednesday, November 3.This is a day for grade nine students to learn more about what their parents, friends or other relatives do at work, and to get an idea of what a typical workday might look like. Students will explore various career opportunities within St.Amant, and make a link between education and work possibilities.
Due to the continuing challenges with the pandemic, St.Amant will once again host this event virtually through Zoom from 1pm-3:30pm. Students participating are expected to join on a device with a webcam and microphone to use.
To register a student for the Zoom session, please email Kellie Lambert, email@example.com, by Friday, October 29 with the following information:
Student’s email address (to send the Zoom link)
Confirmation that the student will have access to a device with webcam and microphone enabled
Please contact Kristina Kircher at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Earn Cash with St.Amant’s Employee Referral Program
- October 18, 2021
You can help St.Amant, a friend, and yourself by participating in the Employee Referral Program. As a part-time or full-time employee, you can earn a cash reward ($50, $150, $300) if you refer an external applicant who is hired into an open full-time, part-time, or term position and completes the probationary period to the satisfaction of their manager.
For further information on the Employee Referral Program, please refer to St.Amant’s General Policies and Procedures 20.20.18 on our intranet.