Family Wellness Warriors Initiative
The Family Wellness Warriors Initiative (FWWI) is a movement that brings together leaders of the Alaska Native Community, the faith community, regional corporations and agencies, health care providers, and many other interested people in an effort to restore wellness to the Alaska Native Community. It specifically addresses all forms of violence that occur within the family. These include child abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, vulnerable adult abuse and neglect, domestic violence, and adult sexual assault.
The purpose of FWWI is to encourage and promote family wellness, utilizing long traditions of Native people's strength to counter all types of domestic violence, neglect and abuse within this population. It addresses these issues through a comprehensive, holistic approach, mobilizing the resources of numerous organizations, agencies and communities statewide, both urban and rural.
The Family Wellness Warriors Initiative represents a call to all members of the community:
- For men to assume their role as protectors of family wellness, restoring their trustworthiness as providers and community leaders.
- For women to step forward as instillers of family wellness values, teaching by both word and deed.
- For all adults to view their children as the reflectors of family wellness, to understand that their behaviors are direct indicators of everything that has been modeled for them by their fathers, mothers, grandparents and community members.
The Initiative seeks to collaborate with all available resources in order to address violence, abuse and neglect issues on all levels—legal, administrative, psychological, environmental and spiritual. It does not attempt to redistribute power relationships within the family, but rather to restore the trustworthiness, respectability and accountability of each member, according to their roles within the context of Native tradition.
First and foremost we need all men to step forward to take back their place as the protectors of family values. We need all men to teach their sons to hold each member of a family precious and safe. Anger can bring strength when it is in service of protecting the family. We need fathers to teach their sons that it is not OK to throw a chair or pound a fist when one is angry. We need grandfathers to teach their granddaughters that all women deserve to be loved well, and treated with respect and dignity so they may continue to pass on nurturance and love. We are looking for the warriors of family wellness.
We need women to step forward and take their place as the instillers of family values. We need women to teach their daughters to seek relationships with men who respect them and who will join them in creating families that are a fortress against harm. We need women who believe and understand that a child raised in violence may continue the cycle of violence, and that a child raised in peace and love will often continue the cycle of peace and love. We need women to teach their sons to understand their emotions and to use these emotions to make wise and careful choices. We need grandmothers to teach their grandsons that all men need to be loved and respected so that they can love others well. We are looking for the warriors of family wellness.
We need children of all ages to be viewed as the reflectors of family wellness. We need to listen to and learn from them - to understand that their behaviors are a reflection of all that has been modeled for them by their fathers, mothers, siblings, grandparents and community members. They will seek healthy foods if that is the way they were raised. They will seek healthy relationships if that is the way they were raised. We are looking for the warriors of family wellness - raise your child to become one. Watch all children and they will tell you if we as a community are raising more of these warriors.
The Family Wellness Warriors Initiative calls for men to step forward and continue in their role as protectors of family wellness, leading their families and teaching important lessons about how to protect and love the family.
The Family Wellness Warriors Initiative calls for women to take their place as the instillers of family wellness values.
FWWI is looking for all warriors of family wellness to step forward now.