|“In this event youth are the ‘sharers of knowledge and wisdom’ about youth experience. The adults take on the role of a learner through listening and bearing witness to these youth leaders’ struggles, strengths and needs.”
Join us at the UBC Learning Circle for an exciting and interactive conversation with SACY members, Art Steinmann, Alexxandra Wilson, Kelly Melsness; along with special guests, Curtis Clearsky, Chuck Lafferty, and Rhiannon Wong, as they share their experience developing and implementing what was known as Aboriginal Capacity Cafes. This information session will outline the learnings from the Cafes wich may inspire others to do something similar in their region (please note however that the webinar is not a training in how to conduct a Cafe).
SACY – School Age Children and Youth www.vsb.bc.ca/sacy – is a joint initiative of VBE and Vancouver Coastal Health. It is a comprehensive health promotion approach that is active in Vancouver secondary schools and Alternative Programs.
This is a unique intergenerational opportunity for family members, Elders, youth workers, and other adults invested in youth to hear about the lived experiences of Aboriginal youth in their community.
In their roles they recognize the important role of parents, teachers and other adults and…
…therefore seeks to:
- Support parents/caregivers in maintaining strong relationships with their youth.
- Teach parents effective ways of communicating with their children.
- Promote adult listening and adult ally building as important steps in helping young people stay healthy and feel positively connected to their schools and communities.
We seek to impact the school environment and thus aims to:
- Support teachers and administrators to utilize evidence-based prevention practices
- Conduct teacher training to implement effective classroom curricula.
- Work with schools to implement an integrated approach to substance use prevention.
We are committed to a multi-faceted approach and ongoing review of our activities by external evaluators thus allowing the initiative to give the most promising results.
Everyone welcome to participate:
About the Presenters:
Art Steinmann, BA, with a BC Teacher’s Certificate, Manager, Substance Use Health Promotion and SACY, brings over 35 years of experience in substance use policy, education and health promotion work. Currently he is the Manager of Substance Use Health Promotion and SACY, for the Vancouver Board of Education (VBE), a position he has held since 2005.
Prior to his present role Art worked for 5 years as an independent Addiction Prevention Consultant. Clients included: Vancouver Coastal Health, the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Island Health Authority, the Fraser Health Authority and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.
Before that, for 19 years he was Executive Director of Alcohol-Drug Education Service, a multi-faceted provincial prevention and advocacy agency. For 18 of those years he also directed the Pacific Institute on Addiction Studies, an annual conference for addictions workers and allied professionals. He presently serves on regional and provincial mental health and substance use coalitions and collaboratives. Previously he Co-Chaired the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse’s National Prevention Standards Task Force and served on numerous other boards, task forces and committees. Art has presented before many government task forces, commissions and policy reviews. He has also completed numerous addiction related courses and workshops as well as graduate studies in Theology and Counseling.
Alexandra Wilson, M.Ed., SACY Parent Engagement Stream Lead – has worked as a teacher, bookseller, editor, foster parent, and for the last 10 years in parent and family engagement with the SACY program. Her background is in education, in human development and youth resilience … and lessons learned in 24 years of parenting. She is passionate about supporting families in staying connected with their children, and strengthening relationships between the generations within community. She is inspired by the community wide support and learning that can come from events like Capacity Cafes.
Kelly Melsness, Prevention Specialist, Vancouver Coastal Health (SACY Prevention Initiative) has a background in Child and Youth Care Counselling, with a specialization in Concurrent Disorders. She is spent several years pre-prevention working in day treatment and residential detox settings. Kelly has been with SACY for eight years and participated in numerous capacity cafes, both for parents and teachers, and cultural specific … it is by far one of the favourite parts of her work.
She has had opportunities to travel overseas and work in health promotion doing addiction and mental health advocacy and awareness in cross cultural settings.
Chuck Lafferty, left his village as a young man like so many young people like himself. Born to the Dene Nation in the Northwest Territories, Lafferty later found himself in Vancouver and was soon immersed in urban life. He was employed with Urban Native Youth Association for many years as an Aboriginal Youth Worker who worked with Native youth who are living in Vancouver’s Eastside, with a primary focus on youth ages 11-20 years. In particular, the Aboriginal Youth Worker seeks to engage youth who are not accessing – or may face barriers to accessing – programs and services, and encourage their participation in a wide range of programming available in the community.
Presently Lafferty is a Youth Worker at Pathways to Education.The program is part of the community-driven Our Place Graduation Strategy, a place-based approach to improving the educational success of children and youth living in the inner city..
Rhiannon Wong joined the BC Society of Transition Houses (www.bcsth.ca) in 2007. Through resource development, membership support, policy review and education, her work has primarily focused on the impact that Violence Against Women can have on children, young people and mothers. She is also committed to raise awareness about technology abuse and the intersections of empowerment, safety of women and children, confidentiality and privacy. Rhiannon is grateful for the opportunity to learn from the wisdom of women and children with lived experience, BC’s anti-violence workers, and inspirational colleagues who continue to influence her work.
- SACY Resources
- Capacity Café
- The Aboriginal Capacity Café: Listening to Aboriginal Youth Voice
- Parent Stream, Cats and Dogs
What did Parents learn from the Capacity Café?
- The capacity cafe helped me to feel more comfortable with my son being at a large high school. I had many fears about all of the trouble that he could get into and listening to the youths’ perspective I realize that all of the horror stories that I hear are not necessarily true and that I need to trust my son who is actually demonstrating pretty responsible behaviour.
- I was moved that these young people were willing to share their feelings and experiences with us parents. I realized how much more we can learn from listening to them.
- I learned that my children learn from me and my example is important. And that soon they will be adults and make their own decisions.
- I learned of the resiliency of youth and they all want to be loved.
- I learned that ‘good’ kids sometimes do drugs and drink and they’re still ‘good’ kids.
PDF Version of Aboriginal Capacity Café
Edited Video of their Presentation: