One of MIWRC's longest continuously-funded direct service programs, Healing Journey is a peer-led support program for adult American Indian women aged 22 and older who are challenged by chronic mental health, substance abuse, and trauma histories. The Healing Journey program utilizes harm reduction strategies and the Ojibwe teaching "zhoo-way-nah-dig" ("taking care of each other") to provide safe space and time for women to walk their own healing path at their own pace. This model operates from cultural teachings that prioritize the process of working toward a life "in balance" over linear markers of success, such as total abstention from substance use, while connecting women with a support system of staff and peers who view them as vital, contributing community members regardless of their past or current struggles.
Oshkinigiikwe (Ojibwe- "Young Woman") and Safe Harbor Initiative
The Oshkiniigikwe program serves urban American Indian girls aged 11-21 who are at high risk for or have already experienced physical assault, sexual abuse/exploitation, family and/or intimate partner abuse, and other traumatizing events that contribute to physical and mental health disparity in American Indian females. Through provision of harm reduction-focused individual case management, peer support group, and cultural recreational activities, this program supports girls and young women in building the personal resilience and life skills needed to live healthier lives. MIWRC also employs two Safe Harbor Workers to further the state of Minnesota's efforts to end trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) of American Indian children and youth in both urban areas and tribal communities throughout the state.
Oshki Wayeshkad (Ojibwe- "New" and "at first or the beginning")
Supported by a grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA), Oshki Wayeshkad provides American Indian girls aged 12-21 and boys/Two Spirit youth aged 16-22 with non-judgmental emotional support and practical skills-building to help them complete their educations, acquire job skills, and mitigate the trauma of multigenerational poverty and homelessness that leaves our youth vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation (CSE)/sex trafficking and reliance on "survival sex" to meet their basic needs.