Today STC signed a partnership with the provincial government to design and deliver the transition program in Saskatchewan.
The Indigenous-led program will help newly released female inmates transition back into their communities.
“Community-based reintegration initiatives such as Īkwēskīcik iskwēwak help ensure supports are in place for individuals transitioning out of the criminal justice system,” Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell said. “This is a major milestone to overcoming barriers for female offenders as they find stability in their community and leave the criminal lifestyle.”
Īkwēskīcik iskwēwak, which means “turning their life around” in Cree, is the first pilot program under the Pathways and Partnerships approach to reduce the number of women returning to custody. The program will provide up to 18 months of intensive support to female offenders who are reincarcerated on minor offences. Government will be providing $1.2 million to STC to design and deliver the program.
“Throughout history the matriarch has been the root of support for Indigenous families,” Tribal Chief Mark Arcand said. “Through the Īkwēskīcik iskwēwak program we will be able to give back and support Indigenous women as they reintegrate. Those supports are critical when it comes to building a family structure, and in the process, help mold quality productive citizens for the community.”
Īkwēskīcik iskwēwak will focus on healing and wellness, education, training and employment, and promoting positive family relationships. Indigenous-led programming will support healthy lifestyles and reduce reoffending by helping former inmates rebuild relationships with their family and community.