Thee young woman in traditional garments.
Family enjoying a lake view.
Two people tugging on sweetgrass.
A NCSA program small circle group.
Guided by Elders

NCSA Resiliency Model

A healthy and interconnected spiral collapses and creates chaos due to historic trauma

A Model that Guides our Practice

The NCSA Resiliency Model is an overarching theory that guides our healing, resilience building and practice. Individual, family and community resilience is synonymous with the state of connectedness of the members of the family and community (broadly defined): it is the ability to maintain connectedness to family and community, as well as the natural environment and the cosmos.

NCSA Resilency Model Copyright (NCSA and Dr. Patti LaBoucane-Benson)

Founded on Good Relationships

Increasing connectedness through healthy relationships results in more resilient individuals. This perspective also prescribes that the quality of connection to the people in our lives will dictate the quality of life we achieve. From an Indigenous perspective, good relationships are founded on the principles and values of Wahkohtowin, including respect, caring, sharing, kindness, humility, honesty and self-determination. Consequently, the more the principles of Wahkohtowin are evident in relationships within and between individuals and other environments, the more resilience the family and community will manifest

The spiral is untangled and healthy relationships restored

Healing Relationships

Programmatic interventions grounded in this theory of resilience re-orient individuals to Indigenous interconnected worldviews, placing importance on renewing and maintaining good relationships with their family and their community. Programs can also work towards fostering (or enhancing) a sense of belonging and responsibility to the people and world around them.

Essentially, interventions can facilitate reparation of the web of relationships that have been fragmented or confused by trauma-based behaviour and histories. Healing these relationships is the process of building resilience, which is to say that healing and building family resilience are one and the same.
Wahkowtowin is represented by the space in between levels of the spirals

For us, there are three conditions to the building and maintaining of individual, family and community resilience (the essence of NCSA’s theory of change):

1) Reclamation of an interconnected worldview,

2) Reconciliation of damaged relationships, and

3) Self-Determination of one’s own future

For resilience to manifest, all three dimensions of the healing process need to be engaged at many different levels: individual, family, clan, and nation, environment, cosmos.

Three Dimensions of Healing

1. Reclamation of an Interconnected Worldview

· Reclaiming an interconnected worldview and positive Indigenous identity.

· Healing begins by learning about the impacts of colonization and understanding the roots of trauma-based behaviour.

2. Reconciliation of Damaged Relationships

· Relearning the rules and boundaries of healthy relationships

· Healing relationships within families, communities and across Nations and the rest of Canada.

· All Canadians have a responsibility to reconcile relationships.

· For some Indigenous people, this can include going to ceremony, reconciling a relationship with themselves, their family and community.

3. Self-Determination of One’s own Future

· Healing programs must be created, directed and implemented by Indigenous people.

· Solutions to intergenerational trauma caused by colonization already exist within us, our communities and our teachings.