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Community Resilience refers to a community’s capacity to recover from severe disruption - whether from natural or historical causes - by mobilizing its own resources and enlisting the support of external allies. As a model for wellness and recovery, a community resilience approach provides communities with a tool to address seemingly intractable and overwhelming problems such as additions, domestic violence and suicides.


This is a participatory workshop whose goal is to provide information about community resiilence and  ‘best practices’ from other indigenous communities; and then to engage participants in reflecting on their own experience and their own communities.


  • The “Circle of Courage"  model of positive youth development first described in the book Reclaiming Youth at Risk: Our Hope for the Future (2002), co-authored by Larry Brendtro, Martin Brokenleg, and Steve Van Bockern.

  • Strength-based prevention: Often we are so focused on the problems that we overlook the strengths and resources that are available in our communities. Resilience involves identifying those resources … the wisdom of elders, the energy of youth, the knowledge of what works and what doesn’t in our community … and drawing on these resources to make a difference.

  • Holistic resources: Sometimes we are so used to relying on outside ‘experts’ in mental health that we forget things we can do ourselves to support healing and wellness in our community and for our families: spending time on the land, sports and recreation, engaging in the creative arts, accessing spiritual resources.

  • Case studies: Learning about how other Iindigenous communities have successfully addressed problems like addictions and youth suicides can be helpful as well as inspiring in resilience planning.

  • Community Resilience Planning: The workshop includes an opportunity for participants to reflect on the situations of their own communities, and to try out what they have learned about building community resilience.

Healthy Community Planning Workshop

Community Works can facilitate the development of a Community Resilience Plan for your community.

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