For the past 20 years the Coming Home Society has worked on behalf of the Diocese of New Westminster to build bridges of understanding and connection between our Diocese and First Nations people. Our work is with both those for whom this territory is home, and those from across the province and country who make up Vancouver’s urban community.
In the spirit of Reconciliation, the Coming Home Society works in partnership with organizations in the Aboriginal community to develop and support programs that help First Nations youth recover from the intergenerational legacy of Canada’s Residential School system. The Society brings the needs of these young people to the attention of the Diocese, which engages in the work of Reconciliation by learning about the issues, and supporting this healing work with prayer, financial and in-kind donations, and supportive engagement with the youth.
All of us working together can help our First Nations Peoples recover what has been taken, so that today’s youth have a proud heritage to pass on to their children and their children’s children.
Canada’s Residential School system nearly destroyed First Nations’ culture and spirituality, leaving families with little to pass down to their children but a legacy of lingering pain, anger and abuse. Too many children are still being taken away; too many are lost as they drift away in search of something better.
The Coming Home Society is working in partnership with the ‘Warriors Against Violence’ Society. This society is committed to “helping Aboriginal families stop violence and abuse by reclaiming traditional values of honour, respect and equality.” Only when all family members are treated as equal in the circle of life – elders, life-givers, men, and youth – will we have healthy families raising healthy children.
This unique program brings men and women living with domestic violence together in one room to share their experience and the feelings associated with the abusive behaviour. This leads to insight and healing. The group sessions are followed up with separate men’s and women’s sessions for same-sex discussion and support. There is also a drop-in evening for both men and women where they can socialize, work on craft projects, or hear presentations on traditional cultural knowledge.
Families and individuals further participate in a 28-session series of workshops to acquire the tools to cope with anger. The Society believes that Aboriginal teachings provide a strong model for healthy relationships, and welcomes all who want to benefit.
The Coming Home Society has also worked since its inception in partnership with Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA). Past projects include Young Wolves Lodge – an alcohol and drug recovery home for 17 to 24 year old Aboriginal women, particularly mothers. Over 13 years the Lodge enabled hundreds of young women to leave the streets, regain custody of their children, and reconnect with their culture and community.
The ‘Wisdom of Elders’ project enabled Aboriginal Elders to share their traditional knowledge, skills, and spiritual ceremonies with youth in UNYA programs. This led to the establishment of an ‘Elder in Residence’ program at UNYA.
To contact the Coming Home Society, please email Linda Adams or leave a message at 604-290-4117 or at St. James’ Anglican Church – 604-685-2532.