Nato’ we ho win (pronounced “natawayhowin”) is Cree for “The Art of Self-Healing.” Nato’ we ho win is an innovative program that addresses the mental and physical health needs of women who have experienced intimate partner violence and self-identify as Indigenous. The program consists of trauma-informed, artistic, and cultural programming. Participants engage in cultural and creative activities to increase stress management skills, social support networks and knowledge of traditional Indigenous culture and to address health and social issues related to colonialism. The group is facilitated by an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper or Trauma-Informed Artist and an Elder and Domestic Violence Advocate are present at every group session. Research is being conducted including both quantitative measures and Indigenous qualitative methods.
PATHS received funding for Nato’ we ho win from the Public Health Agency of Canada through the Supporting the Health of Victims of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse through Community Programs funding stream in October 2016. This project will conclude in August 2020.
Nato’ we ho win consists of a 3-hour evening group session once per week for 12 weeks, with a 13th session for research activities. The group was piloted in Moose Jaw March- May 2017 and ran in Moose Jaw, Regina, and Prince Albert (Saskatchewan) September- December 2017, January- May 2018, and September- December 2018.
Research activities are currently underway. The program manual will be available to share in 2020. Please contact PATHS for more information.
Partners include PATHS member agencies, Indigenous Knowledge Keepers (Barbara Frazer, Norma Rabbitskin, and Willie Ermine), Dr. JoLee Sasakamoose & Dr. Nicholas Carleton from the University of Regina. Project teams in all three communities consist of Elders, Facilitators/Artists, Domestic Violence Advocates, Childminding Organizers, additional Childminders, and Research Assistants.
Through this project, PATHS is part of the Community of Practice at the Knowledge Hub (Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children, Faculty of Education, Western University). Information about Nato’ we ho win as well as other Community of Practice projects and more about the Community of Practice members is available through these links.
Click here to read media articles about the project.
Lisa Neuls, left, and Barb Frazer, right, display partially finished beaded belts the women have been working on as part of Nato’ we ho win, a new program that uses Indigenous cultural traditions to help women heal from domestic violence. (Rachel Zelniker/CBC)