PHASE Programme offered

Paul Hooper made the trek from Victoria to Tumbler Ridge last week. He was in town to offer residents of Tumbler Ridge the opportunity to get involved in an initiative called, ?The Preventing Harassment and Abuse through Successful Education Programme?. The idea is to assist Canada?s Junior Rangers to work together to develop life skills such as hunting, fishing, logging or mining. Marksmanship and survival skills are taught according to longstanding Canadian tradition. There is no emphasis on military applications.

The project began in 1999 when the Department of National Defense (DND) teamed up with violence and abuse prevention consultants, as well as members of the First Nations and Inuit communities. Over the next three years they developed training modules that deal with a wide array of issues facing Canada?s youth and young adults. Today there are some 80 Junior Ranger Outfits with more than 2200 participants.

Using plain language, videos show how to recognize the different forms of harassment covered by Federal and Provincial human rights legislation. The shows also outline the four kinds of abuse outlined in Provincial and Territorial and child?protection legislation. Communities decide for themselves what to use and what to omit. Junior Rangers learn to view harassment through the eyes of the victim. Led by an adult facilitator, the Ranger team discusses a video in a circular seating format. The circle ensures that all people are seen equally, and each person is allowed to speak, or not, without interruption or comment. No module is mandatory or compulsory.

The programme relies on solid relationships between the facilitator and the Junior Rangers themselves. Those who are selected to become adult leaders travel to Victoria for a comprehensive week of training. After returning to their communities, their role is to deliver one session per month lasting about 30 minutes.

The PHASE programme is well suited to communities such as Tumbler Ridge. If you would like to become involved as an adult leader or would like to consider enrolling your son or daughter contact Michelle Burton at her home number of 242-0027 or Joe Schmitt at 242-2388. The next meeting is scheduled for January 29th at 7:00 p.m. in the Legion basement.