For the first time, the Veterans Transition Network (VTN) launched a program solely for male Indigenous Veterans of the Canadian Forces and RCMP. The Men’s Indigenous Veterans Transition Pilot Program was created to further their reach across Canada and into communities that are often overlooked.
Supported by the True Patriot Love Foundation, the pilot program focusses their aim on the unique experiences of Indigenous Veterans, both during their service and as they transition out.
Veterans Transition Programs (VTP) uses a group-based method for Veterans, designed specially to help men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and RCMP overcome issues impacting their lives, holding them back from finding happiness and success in their civilian lives.
Through independent research at UBC, the program’s impact can be seen in its graduate’s stories. Graduate Melvin S., had this to say of the program, “To step into that circle and to deal with my psychological baggage was more than humbling. This was nothing like the ceremonies and traditions of my people… and what they gave me, I was able to give back in the form of my own knowledge, experience, and cultural teaching. That was the best part. Through my entire life, I’ve believed that, what you give out, you get back twofold.”
The one-of-a-kind pilot program will be run by psychologists who have received specialized training in Indigenous military issues and will be co-led by VTP Graduates who are Indigenous Veterans themselves.
“Many Indigenous Veterans face challenges and experiences that are unique to their cultural background,” said Liam Peel, VTN’s Operations Coordinator for Western Canada, in a press release issued July 31. “This pilot program provides an opportunity for Indigenous Veterans to help each other work through barriers to transitioning in a setting where their experiences are shared and understood.”
Although the program is based out of Manitoba, their doors are open to Veterans across the country, and the VTN pays all expenses. Registration is currently open, and the course begins September 7, 2018.
The VTN is a Canadian charity, delivering group-based programs assisting current and former members of the Canadian Forces and RCMP struggling with their transition to civilian life. The unique program model underwent 20 years of university and community research, and in doing so, the VTN has helped over 850 Veterans through their transition periods, reconnecting them emotionally with family and spouses, while settling into new career paths.
For more information about this program, click here.