The Warriors Against Violence Society is committed to helping First Nations families unlearn abusive and violent behaviours and reclaim their traditional values of equality, honour, and respect for themselves and others. WAVS began as a program for Aboriginal men with a history of abuse. Today, there are services for men, women, families and youth. Adult groups meet twice weekly at Kiwassa Neighbourhood House. This session is an opportunity to into who and what WAVS is and the impactful work that they do.
Warriors Against Violence Society has been in operation since 1998 when two men, Joseph Fossella and the late Daniel Parker decided that they would look into starting a program for assaultive men to learn how to stop violence.
The program addresses the issue of violence and provides the tools necessary to stop violence as well as on-going support for the participants. We not only working with the perpetrator, we also work with the victims as well. We recognize that in most cases, the perpetrator has also been victimized at one time. We provide a safe place for the participants to share their stories of pain and trauma sometimes for the first time. It is often times the beginning of their healing journey. We provide a program that incorporates tradition and culture which contributes to growth and healing as it strengthens participant’s sense of identity which is important in the health and wellbeing of an individual.
This workshop is for workers and community members who would like to learn about this organization’s ongoing efforts to address family violence and its impact on individuals, families, and communities to help decrease violence in our communities.
Everyone Welcome to Participate:
About the Presenters:
Joseph Fossella is a member of the Sechelt band in British Columbia, Canada. Joseph has worked extensively over the last twenty years as a counsellor/facilitator, elder, and instructor in the First Nations community as well as the mainstream society. He has experience providing programs, workshops, train the trainer, sharing circles and counselling for men, women, youth and families throughout Canada and the United States.
Joyce Fossella is from the Lil’wat nation in British Columbia, Canada. Joyce has worked in the Aboriginal community for over twenty-five years in education, health and wellness. She is currently the Executive Director with Warriors Against Violence Society and has worked with WAVS for over eighteen years addressing the issue of violence within Aboriginal communities. Joyce has presented and spoken at various conferences internationally including, Canada, United States and New Zealand.
CBC Video and PDF:
- CBC News | Indigenous Warriors Against Violence
- Downloadable pdf of: Aboriginal Domestic Violence in Canada
Handouts for after the Session:
DISCLAIMER: Due to the sensitive subject matter and stories shared during the UBC Learning Circle sessions participants may become triggered. Please ensure you have prepared a support system for yourself in advance in which you may have easy access to. This could mean an Elder, trusted mentor/family/friend, Counsellor and/or crisis contact number.
Please contact the 24 Hour KUU-US Crisis Line at 1-800-588-8717 if you require emotional support. KUU-US services are for First Nations, by First Nations – all crisis response personnel are certified and trained in Indigenous cultural safety. Or call the BC Crises Centre at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)..