On-Reserve Income Assistance Working Group: First Quarter Activities

          In the first quarter of the 2023/2024 fiscal year participants of the On-Reserve Income Assistance Group attended:

  • Mental Health First Aid,  
  • Facilitating Change, and
  • Quarterly Meeting


Mental Health First Aid

          Our first professional development training happened on April 19th at the SFNFCI classroom. Mental Health First Aid was facilitated by Ashley Breland and elder support was provided by Cecile Smith. The course was 1 day in duration. We had 16 participants complete training with certificates from Mental Health First Aid Canada.

          Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the support provided to a person who may be experiencing a decline in their mental well-being or a mental health crisis. Course participants learned how to:

  • Recognize signs that a person may be experiencing a decline in their mental well-being or a mental health crisis.
  • Have conversations that encourage a person to:
    • Talk about declines in their mental well-being,
    • Discuss professional and other supports that could help with recovery to improved mental well-being,
    • Reach out to the support.
  • Assist in a mental health or substance use crisis, and
  • Use MHFA actions to maintain one’s own mental well-being.


          When we asked what they thought about the course and facilitator, participants responded: “The facilitator broke down the material which made it easy to understand and use the material. Ashley’s language is soft, caring, and compassionate.”

“I learned more on how to handle people in certain situations.”

“Good course to take, I would recommend this to my friends.”

          We asked participants how they intend to use the skills they acquired in their day-to-day work and one participant responded with “talk with confidence, be more prepared.” And “I learned how to control the nervousness of public speaking and how to go about it.”


Facilitating Change

          The second professional development training course we offered was Facilitating Change. It was facilitated by Charlotte Ross and elder support was provided by Cecile Smith. Facilitating Change took place at our SFNFCI classroom. We had a total of 13 participants complete the course. They travelled from communities such as Montreal Lake, Red Pheasant, Waterhen, Ochapowace, and Red Earth.

           The two-day course provided a hands-on approach to facilitation and public speaking. Participants learned about the key concepts of public speaking and facilitating groups; examined their personal public speaking style. When we asked our participants how they would use this course, one of them responded: “I will use this learning experience with my clients. I became a professional speaker today (lol).” The course was highly recommended by those who took it. The participants suggested it would be beneficial for their coworkers and community members.  


Quarterly Meeting

          In June we held our first Quarterly Meeting of the new fiscal year. It was held on June 5th and 6th at Prairieland Park. Elder support was provided by Mary Lee. There was a total of 73 in-person and 10 online participants.  The meeting attendees consisted of Income Assistance/Social Assistance Administrators, Case Management, Pre-Employment Skills Coordinators, ISC Representatives, FSIN Representatives, and SFNFCI Staff.

          First on the agenda we had a presentation from SFNFCI Reform Project Team members about the current Reform Project and topics such as IA Reform Themes, IA Program Current State, and Reform Roadmap. We were then introduced to the Human Resource Team and how they were going to build capacity during this project. Later during the presentation, we met the Research Team and learned more about Research Methodology. 

          Jason Yew (ISC) spoke about manual updates as of April 2023, we went over these in more depth during our last quarterly meeting. He mentioned that IAFNYES approval letters went out the week of the quarterly meeting.  Later during the meeting, we heard from Kelly Quewezance (ISC) and Amber Lenius (Community Living Service Delivery). They answered questions from the group related to Assisted Living.

          During the meeting Kayla Rosteski-Merasty (SFNFCI) reviewed and updated the Terms of Reference with the group followed by a look at the meeting and training schedule for the fiscal year.

Quarterly Meetings

  • September 13-14, 2023
  • December 4-5, 2023
  • March 7-8, 2024


Professional Development Training

  • July 12, 2023 – Managing Multiple Priorities
  • August 9-10, 2023 – Communication Skills
  • October 11-12, 2023 – Motivational Interviewing
  • November 7-8, 2023 – Professional Boundaries and Confidentiality   


          All information about quarterly meetings and training can be found on our website under the Calendar of Events tab or by sending an email to Kayla Rosteski-Merasty, Learning Operations Consultant at kayla@sfnfci.ca


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