The Walking the Path Program was developed by a multi-disciplinary team of service providers to impact the issues that are common to high-risk youth in Aboriginal communities. The educational initiative promotes self-worth, self-esteem, and respect for others with the use of healing circles, cultural teachings, role models and community awareness.
A positive self-image is essential for each individual to function as a responsible and contributing member of society. Individuals that feel good about themselves are much more likely to respect others as well as the rules and laws in their communities.
Primarily designed for grade levels four through eight, the ten-week course will require instruction of approximately two to four hours per week. The principles of healthy self-development that are contained in this curriculum should be delivered in a team teaching approach involving police officers, teachers, principals, social workers, health care providers and Aboriginal Elders.
The “Walking the Path” program helps to create a safe and structured learning environment for the healthy development of Aboriginal youth.
The lessons have been organized in nine modules with supporting optional activities, assignments and instructional strategies. These lesson plans are meant to be flexible and may be supported by other programs or materials, and are summarized as follows:
- Week 1 – Cultural Teachings
- Week 2 – Medicine Wheel Teachings
- Week 3 – History of Aboriginal People
- Week 4 – Finding our Strengths
- Week 5 – Painting the Mask
- Week 6 – Healing Circle and Discussion
- Week 7 – Self Esteem
- Week 8 – History of Native People
- Week 9 – Community Awareness
The graduation of the students from the “Walking the Path” program includes the students, parents and program participants in a graduation feast, ceremony, and giveaway to celebrate the student’s learning experiences. Certificates are then presented to each student.