The name, Kizhaay Anishnaabe Niin, was offered by Sandra Kakeeway and was the name of the Indigenous men’s anti-violence program in Thunder Bay. The program was named by the Old Man, Elder Peter O’Chiese explicitly conveyed that our teachings require men to be kind. Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin (an Ojibway phrase) translates as: “I Am a Kind Man”.
The Kizhaay Anishnaabe Niin program provides and/or establishes:
- One-to-One Peer Counselling to build skills and practice alternatives to violence.
- Peer leadership that establishes a network of support for participants.
- Community re-integration for justice-involved men.
- Community engagement to end the silence and stigma surrounding violence.
- Create opportunities for extended family and community reconciliation through culturally-based programs and services for me and male youth that build upon their abilities to make healthy choices, build healthy relationships, and speak out against violence against Indigenous women in their communities.
- Deliver community led and driven prevention-based programs for men and male youth that focus on traditional roles and responsibilities and positive self-identification with cultural heritage; family healing and the creation of safe spaces for men to create healthy relationships with their children.
- Create, implement, and contribute to safety and healing plans and strategies and provide input into the establishment of local priorities that enhance safety for Indigenous women and girls.
- Increase social engagement by supporting family re-integration into community through social and cultural events especially in the aftermath of violence or post-incarceration.