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A new partnership to blog about

 * Guest blog by Red Crosser Melanie Goodchild-Southwind, Senior Manager, First Nations Projects.

The Canadian Red Cross in Ontario is making great strides in the work we do with our First Nations communities. We wanted to share with you news about a partnership with the Chiefs in Ontario that will train First Nations leaders in violence prevention.

This partnership is the result of a report produced by Health Canada in 2001 indicating that injury was the number one cause of death for First Nation people under age 44.  First Nations identified motor vehicle collisions and violence (including falls and suicide) as the most frequent injuries occurring in their communities.

Deanna Jones-Keeshig, the Injury Prevention Coordinator for Chiefs in Ontario, recently participated in the Red Cross Training program, Hearing the Hurt: Prevention of Abuse and Violence Against Youth & Children.

Deanna is a member of Shawanaga First Nation and is Anishinawbe, and says that she attended the program to see how the curriculum could be adapted to meet the needs and issues of First Nations. “It turned out to be a powerfully moving experience for me as I endeavour to make a difference in the lives of individuals, families, communities and our people as my parents did before me,” she said. 

Adapting the curriculum of various Red Cross programs to be more culturally relevant and culturally specific to the needs of First Nations and Aboriginal communities is a priority for both the Red Cross and for trainers like Deanna. 

It is very exciting to see this happening in Ontario and we are honoured to have Deanna join the Red Cross team of trainers!

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