WINNIPEG, Sept. 3, 2019 /CNW/ - The Correctional Service Canada (CSC) is pleased to announce the recent signing of an agreement to convert the Eagle Women's Lodge, run by the Indigenous Women's Healing Centre Inc., from a Community Residential Facility into a Healing Lodge.
This agreement will provide a greater number of women with timely access to beds in a Healing Lodge closer to their community. It will be the first time that Indigenous women in Manitoba will be able to serve a federal sentence in their home province. With more access to family, community support and programs, Indigenous women offenders will benefit from gradual and structured release in an Indigenous cultural environment, leading to anticipated improvements in long-term reintegration results.
This multi-level community-run facility will accommodate up to 30 women. Like all federal women's correctional institutions in Canada, it will have the capacity to safely house women with young children as deemed appropriate to foster relationships between babies and toddlers and their mothers. The Eagle Women's healing lodge is working towards accepting minimum security women beginning in the Fall of 2019.
Several studies have supported the effectiveness of healing lodges as a public safety tool. Research from 2015 found that, of 40 women released on parole from a women's healing lodge in Edmonton, only one was convicted of a new offence.
Section 81 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) provides Indigenous communities with the opportunity to deliver correctional services to Indigenous offenders and to participate in the reintegration of offenders who express an interest in being released to an Indigenous community. Agreements under Section 81 allow for a unique approach to Indigenous corrections in which Indigenous communities take the lead in supervising and rehabilitating Indigenous offenders. This culturally responsive and inclusive approach improves public safety results for all Canadians.
"The signing of this Section 81 Agreement supports CSC's commitment to providing effective and culturally appropriate interventions for Indigenous women offenders. This will allow us to further contribute to the successful reintegration of Indigenous offenders back into the community."
– Anne Kelly, Commissioner, Correctional Service Canada
"Federally sentenced women from Manitoba have been far from home for far too long. In the spirit of reconciliation, the Indigenous Women's Healing Centre will now have the opportunity to provide a healing lodge environment for Indigenous women to live, grow and heal that incorporates Indigenous traditions, values and beliefs that support a safe return back into the community. Eagle Women's Lodge looks forward to expanding our services by providing access to a healing lodge environment that supports healing, spiritual growth, independence, self-sufficiency and accountability and will reunite families and increase women's access to their supports and home community."
- Annetta Armstrong, Executive Director Indigenous Women's Healing Centre
- Including the Eagle Women's Healing Lodge, CSC now has 10 healing lodges, six of which are managed by Indigenous communities under Section 81 of the CCRA.
- The other Section 81 Healing Lodges include Waseskun (QC), Ochichakkosipi (MB), Stan Daniels Healing Centre (AB), Buffalo Sage Wellness House (AB) and Prince Albert Grand Council (SK).
- The agreement with Waseskun Healing Lodge was renewed in 2017 and those with Ochichakkosipi Healing Lodge, Stan Daniels Healing Center and Buffalo Sage Wellness House were renewed in 2018. CSC will also be renewing the agreement with Prince Albert Grand Council.
- Eagle Women's Lodge has been operating a 12 bed Community Residential Facility, commonly known as a halfway house, for Indigenous women in the city of Winnipeg since 2011, and has utilized partnerships and services within the broader Indigenous community to support their safe return. The Section 81 Healing Lodge supports the expansion of these cultural and spiritual services, and allows more Indigenous women to benefit from access to a healing lodge environment closer to their family and home community.
SOURCE Correctional Services of Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Correctional Service Canada, 613-992-7711, [email protected]