Thank you for attending the 2019 Inviting Resilience Conference.

Agenda: May 21

8:00 a.m. – Arrival, Conference Registration and Networking

8:45 a.m. – Opening Plenary including Opening Remarks & Keynote: Dr. Katia Keefer, Conference Chair;  Lead Researcher, Building Internal Resilience Through Horses; Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, Trent University: “Resourceful Communities, Resilient Youth: Building Internal Resilience Through Horses”

10:30 a.m. – Networking Break and Poster Exhibition

10:45 a.m. Concurrent Sessions

The Way We Live Now – Early Risk and Resilience Factors for Anxiety

Laura J. Summerfeldt, Ph.D., C.Psych. Department of Psychology, Trent University

Anxiety conditions and disorders, such as specific phobia and social anxiety disorder, are now considered the most common mental health problem in Canadian children and youth. This reflects a steady increase in their prevalence in the last decade or so, which is worrying given that most do not receive appropriate treatment and usually worsen without such. This talk will examine how contemporary trends in the experience of children and youth – the way our children live now – align with known risk factors for the development and perpetuation of problematic anxiety, according to a large body of psychological research and theory. A particular focus will be the wide-ranging direct and indirect effects of technology use. Also discussed will be protective factors, including as found in our team’s original research with both typical and clinical adult populations, which appear to aid resilience not only to anxiety conditions, but to the impacts of life stressors upon individuals vulnerable to anxiety.

Laura J. SummerfeldtLaura J. Summerfeldt is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. She is also a registered Clinical Psychologist. She received her doctorate in Canada, from York University, and completed her postdoctoral training in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University, where she then served on the clinical adjunct faculty for over a decade. Dr. Summerfeldt studies the interplay of personality, emotion, and psychopathology, with a particular focus on anxiety and compulsivity. She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters, and is a co-editor of “Psychological Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Fundamentals and Beyond”, a book published in 2006 by the American Psychological Association Press. She serves on the editorial boards of the Canadian Journal of School Psychology and the international Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders. In addition to her research, Dr. Summerfeldt is passionate about teaching and education and interdisciplinary conversations, including about societal determinants of mental health.

Promoting Resilience in Victims of Sexual Violence

Dr. Christine Wekerle, Associate Professor Paediatrics, and Associate Member of the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University
Savanah Smith, Research Coordinator, Department of Paediatrics, McMaster University

This presentation will provide the audience with an overview of the research to date on sexual victimization among children and youth, examining the literature from an intersectional perspective. Findings from the largest study of child welfare-involved youth (The Maladaptive Adolescent Pathways Study) in relation to sexual victimization, coping, and resilience will be presented. An app created from research and youth feedback to bolster resilience in youth will be introduced:  https://futurumcareers.com/dr-christine-wekerle-finding-joy-in-an-app

Dr. Christine Wekerle

Dr. Christine Wekerle is an Associate Professor, Paediatrics, and Associate Member of the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.  She is Editor-in-Chief of the premier international journal, Child Abuse & Neglect, and founding editor of the open-access journal, International Journal of Child and Adolescent Resilience (www.in-car.ca). Her new book with colleagues, Child Maltreatment (2nd Edition), is targeted to those whose practice engages them in the issues of child maltreatment (https://us.hogrefe.com/shop/childhood-maltreatment-87461.html). Her research focuses on youth who have had adverse childhood experiences and their current mental health and resilience.  The Maltreatment and Adolescent Pathways (MAP) Research Study partnered with Canada’s largest child welfare agencies to track youth outcomes across adolescence, and theresearch-to-action video was runner up in the CIHR IHDCYH Video Talks competition. Her current team grant focuses on the impact of sexual violence victimization among male youth and young adults, seeking to understand components of resilience and developing intervention innovations.  The #CIHRTeamSV research-to-action video won a special commendation prize in the CIHR Video Talks contest for 2107. These open access resources are available on the ResilienceInYouth YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. Dr. Wekerle and team have developed a ResilienceInYouth App to support day-to-day resilient functioning. She can be reached via email (wekerc@mcmaster.ca) and on Twitter @DrWekerle.

Savanah SmithSavanah Smith is a Research Coordinator in the department of Pediatrics at McMaster University. She graduated from the Research Specialist Psychology program at Wilfrid Laurier University and is currently working with Dr. Christine Wekerle on multiple grant projects and activities. She is currently involved with projects regarding male sexual violence victimization, Indigenous youth mental wellness and “water anxiety”, and the development of a research– and evidence-based smartphone app to support resilient functioning in youth.

The Reaching Out Through Yoga Project: What We’ve Learned So Far

Renee Turner, Research Coordinator, BC Society of Transition Houses
Niki Lacey, Volunteer Coordinator, Yoga Outreach

The workshop will be both theoretical and practical, summarizing what we’ve learned so far from this community –based research project. Workshop participants will be given tips on how to incorporate trauma-informed principles into their work and will be gien an embodied experience of the intervention: trauma-informed yoga. Trauma-informed yoga tailors traditional yoga techniques to make it more accessible for those with trauma histories and focuses on building resilience for survivors of violence.

headshot of Renee

Renee Turner, BC Society of Transition Houses

Renee is the Research Coordinator for the Reaching Out with Yoga (ROWY) project at the BC Society of Transition Houses. Renee is passionate about creating positive social change through community-based, community-focused research. Her background is in public health and she has worked on a number of projects both in Vancouver and Sydney, Australia, in the areas of Indigenous Health, Prison Health, HIV-prevention and Rural Maternal Health. She loves working on the ROWY project, as it merges her health research interests with one of her biggest passions: yoga. Renee has been teaching yoga for 10 years and loves bringing her two “worlds” together in this work. She has loved learning the ways to make her yoga teaching AND her research more trauma-informed as a result of what she has learned throughout the ROWY project so far.

Niki Lacey

Niki Lacey, Yoga Outreach

Niki is an authentic, creative professional who works on the Reaching Out with Yoga project as the Volunteer Coordinator. Niki holds a BA Degree in Child and Youth Care Counselling and is also certified in Outward Pursuits (Adventure-based Counselling) with over twelve years’ experience working with complex youth and families throughout BC and Alberta. She has a passion for identifying resilience and empowering others through strength-based, introspective practices. She regularly practices yoga, mindfulness, breath and bodywork and hopes that by introducing these healing modalities to others they too can find more balance, peace and strength from within. In addition to her work with Yoga Outreach, she also runs her own business facilitating Team Empowerment Sessions with amateur sports team in the community, focusing on mental preparation, anxiety management, and team building.

Fostering Resilience During Pregnancy, and Beyond: examining the implications of intergenerational trauma.

Tracey Wicks, Women’s Rural Resource Centre

Tracey Wicks

Utilizing an anti-oppressive and feminist framework we will examine the impacts of domestic violence and past trauma, during the stages of pregnancy, childbirth and the post-partum period. Supporting Mothers in their birthing and caregiving journey enhances maternal health and decreases intergenerational cycles of trauma. Reviewing evidence-based research on attachment, parenting and neuro science will support participant’s understanding of how to apply trauma-informed care and interventions for mothers and babies during pre-birth stage and beyond.

Tracey Wicks is a Child and Youth Worker who specializes in youth engagement, advocacy and crisis intervention support. Tracey utilizes an anti-oppressive and feminist approach when supporting youth and adults in trauma re negotiation and support services. Tracey has presented on topics related to youth gender and sexual identity, attachment parenting and trauma informed birth practices. She also holds years of experience as a practicing Doula for mothers facing pregnancy, birth and parenting who are dealing with trauma. Tracey has vast experience working in the field of Domestic Violence in various capacities, including public education. Domestic Violence overview, Impacts of Domestic Violence on Children and Healthy Relationships are some of the topics she has successfully facilitated.

12:15 p.m. – Lunch and Poster Exhibition, Experiential Opportunity: Trauma Informed Yoga

1:30 p.m. – Concurrent Sessions

Teaching Emotional Intelligence: Essential Steps for Achieving Success

James D. A. Parker, Ph.D., Professor and Canada Research Chair in Emotion and Health, Department of Psychology, Trent University

Over the past few decades the concept of emotional intelligence (EI) has become a prominent topic among health professionals and educators. This talk will present a brief overview of the concept of EI, as well as examine recent developments in the EI area on resilience and wellness. Given the growing empirical link between and emotional intelligence (EI) and various resilience and wellness variables, it is not surprising to see a dramatic increase in the development of new training programs and psycho-education activities purporting to enhance various EI-related competencies. Implementation of programs that promote EI competencies has become an important priority in many educational and mental health environments. Although a variety of EI training materials and programs exist, it is important to emphasise that valid and independent data on the efficiency of most materials and programs are rare. However, there are a number of “best-practice” features and characteristics that can be used when an organization or group contemplates acquiring new EI-related training programs or initiatives. Based on the experience of developing EI-related training materials for various mental health and educational environments, this presentation will identify and describe a set of fundamental features and characteristics that are essential for successfully teaching EI-related abilities.

james d.a. parker

James D. A. Parker is Professor (Full) of Psychology at Trent University, where he is also director of the Emotion and Health Research Laboratory. Dr. Parker earned his Ph.D. in psychology from York University (Ontario) in 1991, and from 1991 to 1994 was a research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. From 2004 to 2008 he was Associate Vice-President for Research at Trent University; from 2008 to 2011 he was the Vice-President for Research at Trent University. Dr. Parker has published over 180 articles and chapters, mostly in the areas of emotion and health. He is co-author of Disorders of Affect Regulation (1997) published by Cambridge University Press, co-editor of the Handbook of Emotional Intelligence (2000) published by Jossey-Bass, co-editor of Assessing Emotional Intelligence (2009) published by Springer, and co-editor of Emotional Intelligence in Education (2018) published by Springer.

Transforming Care for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome at Peterborough Regional Health Centre

Dr. Karen Cozens, MD, FRCPC, Staff Paediatrician, Peterborough Regional Health Centre

This presentation will provide a review of how we have transformed care at PRHC for mothers and babies with possible Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome; and helped mothers be knowledgeable about, and insightful towards, the care of their infant. With our current approach, we have reduced infant length of stay and attempt to keep mom and baby dyads together even if treatment is required. This presentation will answer the following questions: What is Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome?

What is the current approach for possible NAS at Peterborough Regional Health Centre?

How has the current approach improved care for mothers and babies?

What is available to help mothers and babies who have needed to use medications or recreational drugs during pregnancy?

 

Karen Cozens

Dr. Karen Cozens, MD, FRCPC, Staff Paediatrician, Peterborough Regional Health Centre.

How Hiphop dance and Movement play a part in trauma therapy for children and youth

Redge, Unity Charity (She/Her, They/Them)

As a Trent Alumni from 2011, Rachael Edge, also known within the community arts, Spoken Word, and dance scene as Redge, is proud to be presenting at this conference about Sole Expression – a trauma-informed Hiphop dance program. Sole Expression is a 10-week therapeutic group based out of Toronto and Barrie, Ontario, for youth who have experienced abuse and/or exposure to violence. Redge is a project coordinator of the Sole Expression program, as well as one of the Hiphop dance instructors. Over the past 3.5 years, the group has used Hiphop dance and movement to support youth in building healthy coping strategies and bring awareness to the impact of their experiences. The program is a partnership between BOOST CYAC, Unity Charity, Ryerson University and is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Sound intriguing? Come take part in her participatory and experiential presentation on “How Hiphop dance, and Movement play a part in trauma therapy for children and youth”. No dance experience required.

Redge, Unity Charity
(She/Her, They/Them)

Redge

Redge, originally from Hamilton, and now living in Toronto, is passionate about artistic expression for individual and collective healing, as well as political action. She has an undergraduate B.A. degree from Trent University, Masters of Environmental Studies with a concentration in Youth-led Community Organizing from York University, and is now completing her certification to become an Expressive Arts Therapist at the CREATE Institute in Toronto. Redge has over 10 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector, and has had extensive experience working and learning alongside young people in the Greater Toronto Area, ranging from roles such as program director, youth worker, artist/youth mentor, capacity builder for youth-led initiatives, trainer for professional development, arts educator, researcher, and program coordinator. In addition, she has her own lived experiential knowledge that she acknowledges is both a bias and and an asset that she brings with her to her work. She is a proud daughter, sister, Aunt, and friend, and tries her best to stay connected to the larger community context within the work she is involved in. She is aware that within the work of unpacking trauma with children and youth here in Ontario, she also has to continue to unpack and understand her intersecting identities as female, Queer+, chronically ill/(dis)abled, educated, White, settler who lives and works on stolen land.

Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Violence on College & University Campuses: Process and Practice

Mandy Bonisteel, Counsellor and Advocate, Faculty Member Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counsellor/Advocate Program at George Brown College
Barb MacQuarrie, Community Director, Centre for Research and Education on Violence against Women & Children at Western University

This presentation will demonstrate the ways that a new free, accessible, online training can teach those employed in a wide range of campus roles and positions the skills needed to respond to disclosures of sexual violence using a trauma and violence informed approach. The presentation will also discuss Relational Practice as a framework for implementing an empowerment and resilience focussed approach in any organization.

mandy boinsteeel

Mandy Bonisteel has been a counsellor, advocate and consultant in the anti-violence movement for over 30 years. She has worked with both survivors and perpetrators of gendered violence. Her international and local work includes sexual violence survivor support development, NGO capacity building; curriculum development for government and post-secondary programs, and anti-oppression/harassment and relational practice training for various organizations and businesses.  Mandy is a faculty member in the Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counsellor/Advocate Program at George Brown College and a recipient of the Ontario Medal of Citizenship.

Barb MacQuarrie is the Community Director of the Centre for Research and Education on Violence against Women & Children at Western University. She conducts research and develops evidence-based education and prevention initiatives involving both community-based and university-based partners. She has published in numerous journals and produced films on topics related to violence and abuse. Barb has presented to a wide variety of audiences locally, nationally and internationally about gendered violence, its impacts and strategies to address it. She is a recipient of the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest official honour, recognizing individual excellence.

3:00 p.m. – Networking Break and Poster Exhibition

3:20 p.m. – Concurrent Sessions

Reducing Vulnerabilities and Fostering Resilience for Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence

Dr. Ramona Alaggia MSW, Ph.D., Professor of Social Work, with a cross-appointment to the Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto
Cathy Vine MSW, RSW writer, and researcher

Findings of a four year mixed method study, Make Resilience Matter, investigating resilience factors and processes with children and youth exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) are translated into practice approaches for work with this population. Application of resilience concepts and fostering resilience are illustrated through case examples, practical tools and discussion. A trauma and resilience informed lens frames the research and subsequent recommendations for service providers.

Dr Ramona AlaggiaDr. Ramona Alaggia MSW, Ph.D. is a Professor of Social Work, with a cross-appointment to the Women and Gender Studies Institute, at the University of Toronto. She focuses her teaching and research on gender based violence, trauma, resilience and mental health.  Dr. Alaggia’s work is conducted through a trauma informed lens. Using a social-ecological framework she researches child sexual abuse and domestic violence disclosures, and children’s resilience in the context of intimate partner violence. Dr. Alaggia has held a number of SSHRC grants and has co-edited a course textbook, “Cruel but not Unusual: Violence in Canadian Families” (2nd Ed). As well as local and national talks, she has presented at international at conferences and invited key notes at the University of Edinburgh and Glasgow University, Scotland as well as in Italy, Ireland, England, Germany, Portugal and throughout the United States.

Cathy VineCathy Vine MSW, RSW engages in research, writing, and action projects to advance the well-being and rights of children and youth and other marginalized groups. Highlights include supporting the SSHRC-funded research project, Make Resilience Matter for Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence; working with urban-based Indigenous peoples and organizations to advance their aspirations through the Red Road Report; working with the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth supporting young people to plan and hold the Youth Leaving Care Hearings at Queen’s Park; co-editing the book, Cruel but not Unusual: Violence in Canadian Families, 2nd edition, 2012; and, managing the project and co-authoring the report, Resilience: Successful Navigation through Significant Threat, 2010.

A Neuroscientific Approach to Stress Resilience Evaluation and Treatment

Guillaume Durand M.Sc., Ph.D. Candidate Director of ABEL Project

This presentation reviews recent scientific advancements in the field of stress resilience for individuals working in high-stress environments. It provides a summary of the impact of repeated stress exposure on psychological, physiological, biological, and epigenetic mechanisms. Current models and frameworks to evaluate stress resilience and cognitive abilities in individuals prone to work-related stress are explored. Lastly, an overview of potential treatments to increase stress resiliency in said individuals is discussed.

Guillaume DurandGuillaume Durand has obtained a Master’s degree in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience from Maastricht University and is currently completing the final year of his Ph.D. in Neuroscience. During his graduate studies, Guillaume Durand has published a dozen scientific articles as principal investigator on the topics of adaptive personality, stress resilience, psychological assessments, cognitive abilities, and genetics. Guillaume Durand completed several clinical internships and has worked as a mental health therapist in private practice. In 2015, he founded the Abilities and Behaviors Enhancement Laboratory Project. ABEL Project is an organization dedicated to the development and administration of psychometric assessments and evaluations of stress resilience. The theme of Guillaume Durand’s presentation is A Neuroscientific Approach to Stress Resilience Evaluation and Treatment.

Nato' we ho win (the art of self-healing): Ancestral Processes Receptive to Knowing

Barb Frazer M.Ed, BA is an Indigenous Knowledge Systems researcher, cultural educator, botanist, and writer
Crystal Giesbrecht MSW, Director of Research and Communications at the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS)

Nato’ we ho win (the art of self-healing) is a trauma-informed, arts-based healing program for Indigenous women who have experienced violence. The presentation will cover the development and design of the program and some preliminary findings from the intervention research.

“Nato’ we ho win is a way of life, a process in resilience. Embedded in a cultural creative practice, the inherent role of each participant is celebrated—as carriers and purveyors.  Participants attend self-development sessions intended to assist them with the recovery of self-knowledge using traditional models of wellness. Self-development is grounded in the self and the spirit.  Nato’ we ho win acknowledges that life must be grounded in the spirit and this knowledge must be sought through inwardness in unison with all the instruments of knowing and conditions that make individuals receptive to knowing.”— Indigenous Knowledge Educator, Barb Frazer

Barb FrazerBarb Frazer is an Indigenous Knowledge Systems researcher, cultural educator, botanist, and writer. In her role and responsibility as an Elder’s helper, Barb lived and worked within Indigenous Knowledge (Kiskēýihtamowin) teachings and learned Traditional Medicines (Maskihkiya) ways. Barb holds a M.Ed. from the University of Saskatchewan, a BA (Adv.) from the University of Manitoba, and a Certificate in Environmental Assessment and Education from Continuing Education – University of Manitoba and a Certificate of Native Indian Creative Writing – En’owkin International School of Writing and Visual Arts, University of Victoria.

Crystal GiesbrechtCrystal Giesbrecht is the Director of Research and Communications at the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS), the member association for 21 domestic violence shelters and counselling centres. Crystal is a Registered Social Worker and holds a BA (Hons. in Psychology), BSW, and MSW, and Graduate Certificate in Forensic Practice. She has worked as a Domestic Violence Counsellor (casual) and is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Regina and a member of the Expert Advisory Panel for Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability.

I’ve Looked at Resilience From Both Sides Now Practical Lessons From One Man’s Journey

Tom Regehr, Executive Director, The CAST Projects
Becca Partington, BA

Professionals often question the best method to help another person gain resilience. This workshop explores the essence of resilience in real-time, in real situations, exploring the best methods for communicating, assuring, supporting and stepping back from an individual. Participants will become more confident in making choices around inviting resilience.

Tom RegehrTom Regehr is a successful consultant and motivational public speaker who speaks directly to the professional mind about issues of the heart.  He talks about suffering, processes and activities towards bringing about positive change, progressive healing and the opportunity to embrace life with all it’s ups and downs.

Regehr has been self-employed since the age of 14 and has sat on numerous advisory councils and boards in the social service sector.  He is the founder of CAST Canada and has engaged professionals and corporations to better understand the roles of trauma and unresolved grief in, addictions, homelessness, chronic unemployment, mental illness and other concerns through the coordination of workshops, trainings and keynote speaking.  He is also the Executive Director of CAST’s non profit wing, the CAST Projects aiming to reduce suffering and improve quality of life one project at a time.

Tom connects human level activity to business and encourages the investment of employers to promote a healthy balance within their staff and their people.

BeccaIn 2011 Becca joined CAST Canada as coordinator and works alongside founder Tom Regehr in the strategic planning of CAST’s goals, meshing her own passions for creating meaning and improving quality of life with Regehr’s original mandate to reduce suffering in our communities. With a combined history of front line work as a health and helping professional and a family caregiver Becca understands the complex emotional needs of today’s human services world. She offers her passion for community along with her intrinsic understanding of the role of dance, movement and music in healing those who face trauma in life.

Through a blend of networking, community engagement, workshop facilitation and marketing, Becca keeps busy at the CAST office.  As the Director of Operations for their new non profit wing, The CAST Projects she is able to work first hand in creating a trauma informed, emotionally adept future!  Their recently developed 8 week cooking and emotional life skills program, CHOP TALK, had resounding success among the youth participants, their families and their classroom! She has recently become certified as a Powerful Tools for Caregivers program Leader and is pleased to begin running this 6 week psycho-educational support sessions through The CAST Projects.

5:00 p.m. – Day 1 Adjourns

Agenda: May 22

8:00 a.m. – Arrival, Conference Registration and Networking

8:45 a.m. – Opening Plenary

Indigenous Resurgence as Resilience: Promising Pathways for Resilience and Healing in Indigenous Contexts

Dr. Sandrina de Finney, Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor, School of Child and Youth Care

In this presentation, I explore how issues of trauma, resilience, healing and reconciliation can be reconsidered through Indigenous lenses. Canada is a settler state, meaning that colonialism cannot be thought of as an event in the past from which we are now recovering; rather, settler states are those where “the settler never left” (Tuck and Yang, 2012:5). In a settler state, colonial rule is reasserted every day through policies such as the Indian Act, the appropriation of Indigenous lands, and the disproportionate number of Indigenous children removed from their families through the child welfare, justice and education systems. Despite living in one of the world’s wealthiest countries with a global reputation for upholding children’s rights, Indigenous children and youth in Canada continue to experience disproportionate rates of poverty, child welfare interventions, incarceration, under-housing, and racialized discrimination, as well as “epidemic” rates of gender and sexualized violence (Allan & Smylie, 2015; Anaya, 2013:9; Turpell-Lafond, 2016). At the same time, Indigenous education and social services are chronically under-funded across Canadian provinces and territories (Blackstock, 2016; Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 2011; Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015)

In this climate of persistent structural inequities, the experiences of Indigenous children, youth and families are too often reduced to pathologizing labels and measurements of PTSD, non-compliance, complex and inter-generational trauma, self-harm, loss of culture, and substance use. Indigenous families represent a flourishing industry for services and interventions focused on promoting their resilience and healing them from trauma. Yet, their trauma is too often produced by these very systems. Given that Indigenous communities already demonstrate expansive resilience in the face of hundreds of years of intersecting colonial policies, our resilience-building interventions should also focus on the systems that have created and perpetuate trauma.

Understanding how Indigenous children, families and communities embody healing, dignity and self-determination invites us to move beyond Eurowestern psycho-social notions of resilience. Indigenous concepts of resilience instead foreground the political, historical, economic, and sociocultural inequities that produce ongoing colonial violence. Beyond a bio-psycho-social model of individual functioning and aptitudes, they uphold practices of kinship-making, respiriting, rehoming and place interconnectedness that link body to land resilience. This conceptual shift takes Indigenous resilience out of its individualized psycho-social definition and locates it instead in relationship with ancestors, lands, kinship, and self-determination.

Sandrina de FinneySandrina de Finney is an associate professor whose primary focus of scholarship is Indigenous and minoritized populations, particularly youth in care and girls/young women. Drawing on over two decades of experience as a community activist, researcher, trainer and youth worker, Sandrina’s academic work documents the impact of (neo)colonial practices and policies and how racialized communities negotiate and disrupt their effects. Her scholarship is rooted in participatory, action-oriented, and arts-based methods and draws on Indigenous, queer, anti-racist, anti/postcolonial and transnational feminist theories and perspectives.

10:30 a.m. – Networking Break and Poster Exhibition

10:45 a.m. – Concurrent Sessions

A Suicide Prevention Curriculum for First Nations Youth

Harvey McCue, MA, BA, founding faculty member of the Native Studies Department at Trent University, Chair of the Ontario Heritage Trust
Brent Angell PhD, Professor Emeritus at the University of Windsor
Amy Alberton MSW PhD Candidate

First Nations youth are proportionately at a higher risk for attempting and completing suicide than their non-indigenous counterparts. Understanding that fostering protective factors and reducing risk factors will ultimately reduce youth suicide attempts and self-harm, the purpose of this curriculum is to promote resilience and instill hope amongst First Nations youth. The curriculum consists of 24 one-hour classroom sessions delivered over 12 or 24 weeks. The program is experiential and includes detailed guidelines for teachers as well as all required materials for in-class activities such as group discussions, quizzes, games, and other projects that provide opportunities for each youth participant to journal their journey of resilience and wellbeing.  Concurrently, students will have the opportunity to create narratives of newfound knowledge and strength, which will culminate in their having the option to share their understanding of the importance of and potential for resilience. In addition to student activities, each session includes learning materials that relate to the session’s topic. Learning materials include stories, interactive videos, pictures, informational handouts, mass-media references, and Internet resources. The curriculum connects culture with content related to resilient-rich choice-making that is applicable across the distinct First Nations in Canada. Some overarching cultural values presented throughout the material include conceptualization of community, self-reliance and actualization, and connection with the land and to nature. Framed in highly creative, stimulating, and interactive ways, the suicide prevention curriculum has the capacity to build resilience by being responsive, engaging, and applicable to the worldview of participating First Nations’ youth.

Harvey McCueHarvey McCue was educated at McMaster University (MA) and Trent University (BA). Working as a consultant on Indigenous matters related to health, education, self-government, public relations and economic development. Significantly, he was a founding faculty member of the Native Studies Department at Trent University and has provided consultation to numerous Indigenous organizations and government departments, including the Assembly of First Nations, the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, and Indigenous Services Canada. He also worked as the first Chief Executive Officer and founder of the Mik’maq Education Authority and established the First Nations Youth At-Risk charity. Professor McCue is currently Chair of the Ontario Heritage Trust.

Dr AngellBrent Angell was educated at Case Western Reserve University (PhD), Wilfrid Laurier University (MSW), and Trent University (BA). As a Professor Emeritus at the University of Windsor, his scholarly interests focus on redefining critical perspectives related to diversity and community practice. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the online periodical Critical Social Work: An Interdisciplinary Journal Dedicated to Social Justice and provides consultation to a broad constituency on topics related ethics in research and practice.  Currently, Dr. Angell holds an appointment on the Indigenous Advisory Panel of the Research Ethics Board at the University of Windsor and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Windsor Essex United Way.

Amy AlbertonAmy Alberton was educated at the University of Windsor (MSW, BA) and is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Windsor’s School of Social Work. She received an honors degree in Criminology in 2010 with a minor in Political Science and in 2016 completed a Master of Social Work degree. Amy is currently involved in the development and piloting of a suicide prevention program for First Nations youth as well as a SSHRC funded project related to Indigenous homelessness. She recently co-authored a published scoping review and meta-analysis related to citizens’ attitudes toward police and is currently in the process of finalizing a secondary data analysis and manuscript related to Indigenous peoples’ confidence in police.

 

Contextualizing and Facilitating Resilience: thinking outside the box based on the 4-H Equine Resilience Research Project

Heather Sansom, Diploma Rec Therapy, BA, MA, PhD, NCCP Equestrian Coach, PTS

The 4-H resilience study initially focused on youth participants in equine clubs as an extension of sport for youth development in rural contexts.  Like many other sub-populations, rural communities experience lower wellbeing with less access to mental and physical health support, while also having many resilience assets.  Occurring in a community-based recreational program, not staffed by education, sport or mental health professionals, the 4-H activity actually sat at the intersection of outdoor experiential learning, positive youth development, therapeutic recreation, mental health promotion, and animal based therapy and experiential learning.  Using the ecological resilience framework developed by Dr.’s Linda Liebenberg and Michael Ungar (Resilience Research Centre, Dalhousie University), the research focused on the participant resilience meanings and relevant facilitative elements, many of which are transferrable to other contexts.  A mixed method approach yielded rich data, including image-based and creative expression to privilege participant voice.  During this workshop, participants will engage with the research project and findings as a basis for inter-professional dialogue around contextualization of resilience meanings and facilitative programming elements.  We will collaboratively explore thinking ‘outside the box’ regarding resilience-building programming for the populations you serve, stakeholder partnerships, and data collection for program evaluation and knowledge transfer.

Heather Sansom, PhDHeather Sansom, PhD, is a consultant and teaches community college courses in fitness and health promotion.  She is also a recreation therapist, life and fitness coach, and internationally certified equestrian coach.  Following careers in management and coaching, she returned to school to research the mental health promotion possibilities of community-based equine programming. She is currently completing a post-PhD Master’s in Counselling Psychology with the goal of incorporating equine, dog and nature therapy into a psychotherapy practice.  Further information about Heather, as well as a link to download the 4-H Resilience Research doctoral thesis is available at www.heathersansom.ca.

 

 

TransFormed: Addressing Partner Violence from Two-Spirit, Nonbinary and Trans perspectives

Tatiana Ferguson, Program Coordinator, METRAC

 Details to come…

These are Horizon Days: trauma-informed theatrics examining resilience across the lifespan

Wes Ryan, BA, SSW Arts Accessibility Educator, Performer, Public Speaker

Their presentation, These Are Horizon Days: trauma-informed theatrics examining resilience across the lifespan (TAHD) is an interactive performance staged as a rehearsal wherein audiences have the opportunity to contribute creatively to the production. Attendees will learn the principals of combining trauma-informed practice and narrative approach as creative tools for building individual and community resilience. They will come to understand the key benefits and risks associated with verbatim narrative art practices for trauma survivors and develop skills to engage people in arts-based practices with an emphasis on building resiliency at different life-stages.  TAHD employs dance and poetry to discuss the neurobiological impacts of repeated childhood sexual assault and the witnessing of domestic violence and invites attendees to question how we represent and use survivors’ stories in academia and the arts.  By engaging the audience at various intervals to talk about self-care and social change while creating a group poem, the presentation ultimately teaches participants two community building arts exercises.

“Through our shared narratives we stitch together bits of resilience into tapestries for change.”

Wes Ryan is an award-winning performance artist who combines verbatim dance, poetry, and comedy with abstracts, statistics, and experiential knowledge.  In 2007, Wes encountered a sudden attack of gravity resulting in a traumatic brain injury. Since then they have earned an SSW diploma from Fleming College and a Trent University Cultural Studies B.A. focusing on trauma-informed performance. They are currently a member of the province’s Human Trafficking Survivor’s Roundtable and the Peer Support Worker for the John Howard Society of Peterborough’s Healing From Within Program. Wes also co-facilitates Healthy Relationship workshops with Rediscovering Counselling for various autism service providers. They have presented at the Autism Ontario Conference and Trent’s Sexual Consent Conference (among others) and currently uses his ODSP cheque as a perpetual art grant to host free integrated and inclusive dance workshops.

12:15 p.m. Lunch and Poster Exhibition, Experiential Opportunity: Mood Walks, Therapy Dogs

1:30 p.m. – Closing Plenary:

Nurturing Community Resilience: Strategies to Build Social Cohesion and Community Engagement

Michael Ungar, Ph.D. Founder and Director of the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University

Throughout this fast-paced, story-filled presentation, Dr. Ungar will use examples from his work with communities that are being challenged by racial conflict, economic marginalization, violence and natural and man-made disasters to explore nine factors that contribute to collective resilience. Based on his research and community work around the work, Dr. Ungar’s will show that resilience is much more than an individual’s capacity to overcome adversity. It is instead a reflection of how well individuals, their families, communities and policymakers work together to create opportunities for the most vulnerable to navigate their way to the resources they need for wellbeing while making those resources available in ways that people experience as meaningful. His work suggests the need for a multisystemic, culturally sensitive interpretation of what resilience means across different cultures and contexts. Recounting stories from communities with which he’s worked, Dr. Ungar will discuss what we can do to make it more likely a community will do well when it experiences a major social or environmental disruption. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on ways that their communities are already nurturing resilience and how these experiences can be repeated. He’ll end with ideas for how individuals, families, communities and governments can make resilience-promoting resources more available and accessible to everyone.

Michael UngarDr. Michael Ungar is among the best known writers and researchers on the topic of resilience in the world. His work has changed the way resilience is understood, shifting the focus from individual traits to the interactions between people and their families, schools, workplaces, and communities. As the Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience and Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University, as well as a family therapist, he has helped to identify the most important factors that influence the resilience of children and adults during periods of transition and stress. He is the author of 14 books that have been translated into five languages, numerous manuals for parents, educators, and employers, as well as more than 135 scientific papers. Dr. Ungar’s immense influence comes from his ability to adapt ideas from his research and clinical practice into best-selling works like Too Safe For Their Own Good: How Risk and Responsibility Help Teens Thrive and I Still Love You: Nine Things Troubled Kids Need from Their Parents. His blog Nurturing Resilience appears on Psychology Today’s website.

 

Dr. Ungar is also the founder and Director of the Resilience Research Centre where he coordinates over five million dollars in research in more than a dozen countries. Dr. Ungar regularly provides consultation and training to organizations like the World Bank, UNESCO, and the Red Cross. He is the former Chair of the Nova Scotia Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, executive board member of the American Family Therapy Academy, and a family therapist who works with mental health services for individuals and families at risk. In 2012 Dr. Ungar was the recipient of the Canadian Association of Social Workers National Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding contribution to clinical work with families and communities.

3:00 p.m. – Networking Break and Poster Exhibition

3:20 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Panel Discussion

5:00 p.m. – Day 2 Adjourns

About Dr. Katia Keefer, Conference Chair and Keynote

Dr Keefer

Dr. Katia Keefer, Conference Chair;  Lead Researcher, Building Internal Resilience Through Horses; Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, Trent University: As an emerging scholar, Dr. Keefer has co-authored over 30 journal articles and book chapters on the topics of emotional intelligence, resilience, mental health, and psychological assessment; delivered numerous invited talks and conference presentations on these topics; and co-edited the Springer book of Emotional Intelligence in Education. Dr. Keefer’s presentation themed Resourceful Communities, Resilience Youth will focus on the developmental dynamics and applications of socioemotional competencies in the promotion of wellness and resilience across the lifespan. She will also share the preliminary results from Building Internal Resilience Through Horses.

 


 

woman standing in front of bushesAbout Dr. Sandrina de Finney, Keynote

Dr. Sandrina de Finney, Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor, School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria: Dr. de Finney’s primary focus of scholarship is Indigenous and minoritized populations, particularly youth in care and girls/young women. Drawing on over two decades of experience as a community activist, researcher, trainer and youth worker, Dr. Sandrina’s academic work documents the impact of (neo)colonial practices and policies and how racialized communities negotiate and disrupt their effects. Her scholarship is rooted in participatory, action-oriented, and arts-based methods and draws on Indigenous, queer, anti-racist, anti/postcolonial and transnational feminist theories and perspectives. The theme of Dr. de Finney’s keynote is Indigenous Resurgence as Resilience: Promising Pathways for Resilience and Healing in Indigenous Contexts. In this presentation, Dr. de Finney will explore how the issues of trauma, resilience, healing and reconciliation can be reconsidered through Indigenous lens. This conceptual shift takes Indigenous resilience out of its individualized psycho-social definition and locates it instead in relationship with ancestors, lands, kinship, and self-determination.


 

About Dr. Michael Ungar

Dr Michael Ungar
Dr. Michael Ungar is among the best known writers and researchers on the topic of resilience in the world. His work has changed the way resilience is understood, shifting the focus from individual traits to the interactions between people and their families, schools, workplaces, and communities. As the Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience and Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University, as well as a family therapist, he has helped to identify the most important factors that influence the resilience of children and adults during periods of transition and stress. He is the author of 14 books that have been translated into five languages, numerous manuals for parents, educators, and employers, as well as more than 135 scientific papers. Dr. Ungar’s immense influence comes from his ability to adapt ideas from his research and clinical practice into best-selling works like Too Safe For Their Own Good: How Risk and Responsibility Help Teens Thrive and I Still Love You: Nine Things Troubled Kids Need from Their Parents. His blog Nurturing Resilience appears on Psychology Today’s website.

Dr. Ungar is also the founder and Director of the Resilience Research Centre where he coordinates over five million dollars in research in more than a dozen countries. Dr. Ungar regularly provides consultation and training to organizations like the World Bank, UNESCO, and the Red Cross. He is the former Chair of the Nova Scotia Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, executive board member of the American Family Therapy Academy, and a family therapist who works with mental health services for individuals and families at risk. In 2012 Dr. Ungar was the recipient of the Canadian Association of Social Workers National Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding contribution to clinical work with families and communities.