Opokaa'sin Early Intervention Society


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Services


Throughout the years Opokaa'sin has remained on the forefront of working with Aboriginal children, youth, and families within the City of Lethbridge. Here we strive to maintain traditional Blackfoot teachings, culture, and spirituality along with qualified support workers, elders, and volunteers.

Core Values, Beliefs & Principles 

Opokaa'sin provides program and services to encourage self-sufficient, respect of the individual and culturally appropriate support services.

To provide Aboriginal children and families with culturally appropriate and holistic services to meet the needs of raising healthy children and families.

To provide social advocacy for Aboriginal children and families.

To strengthen parenting capacities of all Aboriginal families to care for our children.

To enhance and strengthen family functioning and connect families to appropriate community resources and services.

To preserve the family unit where our children's safety can be supported.

Opokaa'sin adheres to the Circle of Courage model of raising children with the core values of Belonging, Mastery, Independence, and Generosity.




Offers community based programming available for community access, Southwest Child and Family Services. Referral NOT necessary, program is open and based on need and availability.  

Created in response to community need by various Aboriginal service agencies and families that shared a commitment to improving the wellbeing and success of Aboriginal children in care, as well as Aboriginal families requiring immediate supports.
  
Persons with Developmental Disabilities 
Supports Aboriginal Persons with Developmental Disabilities in an effort to ensure that ties to the First Nation community culture and spirituality are enhanced and maintained.
Circle of Courage
Opokaa'sin utilizes the Circle of Courage®, it is a model of youth empowerment supported by contemporary research, the heritage of early youth work pioneers and Native philosophies of child care. The model is encompassed in four core values: belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity. The central theme of this model is that a set of shared values must exist in any community to create environments that ultimately benefit all.

The model is represented by a circle - the medicine wheel - that is divided into quadrants. The circle is sacred and suggests the interconnectedness of life. Likewise, it expresses the sacredness of the number four - the four directions, the four elements of the universe, and the four races. Each quadrant of the CIRCLE OF COURAGE stands for a central value - Belonging, Mastery, Independence, and Generosity - of an environment that can claim and reclaim all youth. It represents the "cultural birthright for all the world's children".
In 1990, Dr. Larry Brendtro, Dr. Martin Brokenleg, and Dr. Steve Van Brockern published Reclaiming Youth at Risk: Our Hope for the Future. It expresses the sacredness of the number four - the four directions, the four elements of the universe, and the four races. Each quadrant stands for the central value - Belonging, Mastery, Independence, and Generosity - of an environment that can claim and reclaim all youth. It represents the "cultural birthright for all the world's children".

The Circle of Courage is a philosophy that integrates the best of Western education thought with the wisdom of indigenous cultures and emerging reserach on positive youth development. The circle suggests the importance of all four shared values. While the four dimensions of the Circle of Courage can be described individually, they must be viewed as one. 


For more information visit Circle of Courage: Reclaiming Youth at Risk

Or watch to learn more about how Opokaa'sin utilizes this unique model of care.
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