One morning during the summer of 2019, Dawne Flaborea received an unusual phone call. A North Atlantic right whale had died, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans wanted to bury it on the property of one of the Correctional Service of Canada’s CSC east coast institutions.
A group of correctional officers from Edmonton Institution (EI) established a workplace fundraising committee in response to the needs of families whose loved ones perished or were injured in the line of duty as correctional officers. Even though this cause was the drive behind their initial efforts, the EI Relief Fund has contributed to a variety of charitable organizations and causes since its inception. The EI Relief Fund fundraises through a variety of ways including receiving donations, activities such as BBQs and 50/50 draws.
In recent weeks, residents at Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge (OOHL) made 25 quilted baby blankets to give back to the community. The Star Blankets will be donated to parents who have, unfortunately, lost their newborns during either the birthing process or post-natal. The OOHL residents were compelled to make this offering as they themselves are mothers, Aunties, Kokums (grandmothers) and they understand the importance of children amongst Indigenous culture.
Research from the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) shows that there is a connection between positive family relationships and lower rates of recidivism.This is at the heart of the Canadian Families and Corrections Network (CFCN), which focuses on families who have someone that they care about inside.
In the fall of 2019, CORCAN instructor Mark Charleson delivered a construction course to eight residents at Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge. The course taught residents basic construction skills, such as planning, gathering materials, measuring, cutting and building. The residents divided into two groups to put into practice what they had learned. Each group was tasked with building a shed.
On November 30, 2020, the keys to a new home were handed over to the Nekaneet First Nation. It was the first house built by residents of the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge (OOHL) for female offenders, outside Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.
On September 28, 2020—a picturesque, crisp autumn day— Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village in Harrison Mills, British Columbia, witnessed an historic ceremonial raising of the flags.
During the pandemic, Grand Valley Institution for Women’s social programs department and offender population have been working diligently knitting and crocheting the following items from yarn generously donated from a community member.
The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is increasingly aware of the needs of ethnocultural offenders, thanks in large part to the pioneering work of Dr.
On May 21, 2019, the Mountain Institution Lifer’s Group donated a bench grinder and cheque to a few special volunteers for their efforts and work through Emma’s Acres/LINC. Emma’s Acres is an agricultural social enterprise managed by the Long-Term Inmates Now in the Community, better known as LINC, which was founded in 1992 by Glen and Sherry Flett in Mission, BC.
In order to encourage Donnacona Institution students to write beyond the scholastic context, I invited them to participate in the Ma plus belle histoire writing contest for adult students in Quebec.
It was a long, hot summer. Usually this type of statement in a correctional facility is an indicator that things are not going well and trouble is brewing, but at Mission Minimum, it was a sign that good deeds were on the horizon.