The Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Special Projects department is one of several departments at NAN that advocates, as per excerpts from Articles 24.1 and 24.2 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, that “Indigenous individuals ... have the right to access, without any discrimination, to all social and health services,” and “indigenous individuals have an equal right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.”
NAN Chief’s in Assembly, through Chief’s resolutions, have initiated the following Programs that are currently within the Special Projects department:
- the Crisis Team Program (includes training and community development)
- Residential School Program
- Men’s Healing Initiative
NAN Special Projects Department assists in advocacy for sustainable funding for high quality programs and services for NAN First Nations. All Special Projects programs work to strengthen community capacity through training local workers using traditional and mainstream teaching tools and resources. At the same time we work to provide support and healing for those who have experienced all types of trauma.
The Crisis Team Program is a First Nation /community based program intended to increase community capacity to respond to crisis and emergency through maintaining a well organized, well trained, well equipped crisis team that can intervene efficiently and effectively to traumatic incidents with a primary focus on suicide and family violence. The Crisis Team will work to lessen the impact of traumatic stress, prevent suicide and family violence within their communities and promote healing for individuals who experience any traumatic incident.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation is responsible for the managing the flow through funding for the program that is received from the Ontario Government’s Ministry of Community and Social Services to the NAN member First Nations.
The Residential School Program works on behalf of Residential School survivors in NAN territory to advocate for services on behalf of survivors as well as justice for survivors and those missing and deceased; maintain historical record of individuals and the Residential Schools; provide information on services available to survivors and their families; promote healing (both traditional and contemporary) opportunities for survivors and families; and, collaborate with organizations in other territories around similar issues .
The Men’s Healing Initiative has worked primarily to support justice and healing for those individuals and families who have suffered emotional trauma as a result of the abuse by convicted pedophile Ralph Rowe. NAN supports individuals through Court proceedings and access to healing opportunities.