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The Navigator position came is a direct result of AWAPEI’s  project “Women Helping Women:” “Stronger Women Create Stronger Communities”, that was funded through 2015/2016 Urban Partnership-Social Enterprise, Aboriginal staff worked with Indigenous women on a one on one basis. Staff assisted clients with resumes, job searches, opportunities to obtain scholarships, and other supporting role as needed. All those involved, clients and delivery providers agreed that this was the best holistic practice in ensuring a client’s success. However, additional barriers were identified throughout the course of the project.

Reserves on Prince Edward Island are in rural areas, and Indigenous women must relocate to the urban areas of Summerside or Charlottetown to obtain education, training, and employment. This can be very costly for them and isolating for Indigenous women, as they not only leave the support of their families and communities but also then considered off reserve members. Once considered off reserve members, they no longer qualify for services provided on reserve by Health Centers or other helping services.

The project identified the need for navigation services to ease the transition from on reserve to urban areas. Working one on one with clients allows the navigator to build a trusting relationship, instilling feelings of confidence and support.

AWAPEI has engaged a full time Navigator to provide navigation services to Indigenous women living in urban centers, particularly women transitioning from living on reserve to living in Charlottetown and Summerside. The navigator will address client barriers, provide transitions services, and overall act in a supportive role to all clients. The navigator will travel to access clients in communities across PEI but will primarily work out of Summerside and Charlottetown. The Navigator will provide additional support to clients of AWAPEI, assisting with resumes, preparing for job interviews, and obtaining additional supports and services as needed.

This navigation service project will enhance an opportunity to build a trusting relationship with indigenous women to ease the transition from living on reserve to off-reserve. AWAPEI values the importance of personal leadership development by encouraging engagement in programs and activities. By utilizing our current programs and resource guides the Navigator will work one-on-one with women to identify their barriers at the same time the Navigator will act as a supportive role model and encourage successful personal leadership guidance by assisting with resume writing, and preparation for job interviews.

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