Through an Aboriginal Lens Project
The Through an Aboriginal Lens Project is an exciting partnership between The Asante Centre and the Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of British Columbia (NCCABC) to provide comprehensive support to Aboriginal youth and their families referred to the Youth Justice FASD Program.
The Project works with indigenous youth and families to assist them in understanding what living with an FASD diagnosis, co-existing substance abuse and other life harms means in relation to the youth's conflict with the law. The goal is to help them identify within themselves and their support systems both the assets and areas that need additional support in order to develop individual strategies that will ensure their successful navigation through the justice system and assessment process.
Through an Aboriginal Lens is a timely response that addresses a gap in services for Aboriginal youth who have been referred to the Asante Centre for FASD assessment by Youth Probation Officers in BC. In order to provide them with a more comprehensive service that will support their rehabilitation and reintegration within the appropriate cultural context, project workers take what we have learned from previous FASD initiatives and translate those learnings into ongoing support for the targeted Aboriginal youth. The project creates culturally appropriate supports among family and community members and builds the capacity of participating Aboriginal youth themselves to help them transition from justice involvement to rehabilitation and reintegration into the community.
The support workers and program manager are employees of NCCABC and are housed at the Asante Centre. They are responsible for providing informal counselling, guidance, support, community development, service networking, education and advocacy for Aboriginal youth. The overall approach is non-judgmental, accepting each youth regardless of the number of offences committed, relapses, types of drugs or length of usage.
The project is funded by the Department of Justice Canada and BC's Ministry of Children and Family Development.