Miskanawah Community Services Association

we serve these populations

  • children and youth
  • indigenous communities

we need help with:

  • education
  • mental health
indigenous led

Pathways CSA is an Indigenous non-profit organization grounded in traditional teachings and ways of knowing.  We are an Indigenous organization because of how are governed, lead and practice, not who we serve. We offer 6 evidence-informed supportive programs for families and youth under contract with government funders. Our services are extended to Indigenous and non-Indigenous Calgarians as directed by our funders.  We also offer Cultural services and programs to promote cultural awareness, integrity, and healing from intergenerational trauma through our Miskanawah team.  Pathways invites all Calgarians to learn and celebrate Indigenous cultures in the spirit of reconciliation with our Miskanawah team and Elders.

Pathways draws jointly from the strengths and guidance of Indigenous teachings and traditions and from the most promising practices in human services to strengthen and help rebuild these relationships and connections. From these two influences, we offer services that are culturally appropriate and respectful of our clients’ own traditions and customs.  We offer the following programs and services:


Miskanawah offers a healing model built on the power of ceremony and the wisdom of Elders to promote well-being in four focus areas.  The Youth Lodge is a series of initiatives, activities, and opportunities that invite Indigenous youth ages 12 to 25 to build skills, confidence, and identity through connection to culture, Elders, and the community. We support the spirit of oskayapewis, a concept that entails youth being helpers in their own healing, in their families, for Elders, and for their communities as they learn the ways of adulthood and how culture can support their growth.

The Family Lodge supports Indigenous children and youth to heal and grow strong in the context of their families and communities.  Family conflict, parental stress, abusive and neglectful behavior, and attachment problems in children are some of the psychological responses to intergenerational trauma at the family level.  The Family Lodge seeks to promote healing and skill-building in family members to create greater family harmony and greater safety in families through the parallels of Indigenous and western approaches.

Work in the Healing Lodge supports healing from intergenerational trauma and its negative impacts on behavior and wellness using traditional and evidence-informed pathways to a wellness that each individual defines for themselves.  Healing through the restorative impacts of sweat lodge, pipe, smudge, traditional healers and medicines, and the wisdom of Elders is key, as well as western therapeutic supports.

The fourth area of focus for Miskanawah is Knowledge Lodge: sharing Indigenous world views, history, legacy, language, and culture in the spirits of reconciliation and ceremony with Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Supporting the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report, building the capacity of agencies and government departments to work in trauma-informed ways with Indigenous staff and clients, and increasing awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the negative impacts of events in Canadian history on Indigenous peoples are the core activities in this Lodge.


Indigenous Mentor Homes | Indigenous Mentor Homes is a residential program where youth live with a mentor family until they return home or become adults. Mentor homes offer a safe and supportive place for youth to finish growing up and develop the strengths and skills needed for adult living.The focus is on building trust, mutual respect and making healthy lifestyle choices while supporting and strengthening cultural identity and connection. The age range is typically 12 to 18 years. This program operates with the guiding concept of Oskipmatsahk, a Cree word meaning “youth transitioning to adulthood.”

Regional After Hours Youth Support (RAYS) | The RAYS program provides safety and stability to children, youth and families in crisis situations through immediate response. RAYS workers support clients in the crisis situation but also reduce the long term negative impacts of crisis. RAYS staff might be called to support medical or mental health needs, accompany clients to clinics or the hospital, provide behaviour management support within a home, and supervise clients at risk of suicide or self-harm.


Healthy Families | Celebrating it’s 15th year, Pathways Healthy Families is a home-visitation program that focuses on parenting skills, relationship building, attachment, and child health and safety.  The program consistently monitors the developmental milestones of the child, and the physical and mental wellbeing of the parent(s). Families are referred to this program through Children’s Services or Public Health.

Nehiyaw Kihokewin | “families visiting with the spirit of our Grandmothers” in Cree | Nehiyaw Kihokewin is an Indigenous Healthy Families program.  The program uses the Healthy Families home-visitation model, blended with connection to cultural activities, Elders and ceremony.  Families are referred to this program through Children’s Services or Public Health.

Nitsanak Mamawintowak “families coming together” in Cree | Nitsanak Mamawintowak provides Indigenous families with home-visitation supports. This includes leading-edge, intensive parenting and child-development curricula and traditional child-rearing knowledge and cultural guidance, so that families can engage in wise-practices in healing and parenting.  All families in need of support can access this program.

Mahmawi-atoskiwin | “a group of people coming together to work as one” in Cree | Mahmawi-atoskiwin is an alliance between Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary, Enviros, and Pathways CSA, in partnership with Children’s Services through a Collaborative Service Delivery model.  Mahmawi-atoskiwin provides support to Indigenous families in the Calgary area through a holistic approach to advanced safety and wellness.  The program connects families with cultural and natural supports, and helps builds personal assets and accountability for families that will enhance healthy living as they move through life’s journey.

For more information, visit our website.

  • A $250.00 donation buys a half-day session of counselling from an Elder for one family
  • A $1,200.00 donation buys one community Sweat Lodge ceremony
  • A $2,500.00 donation buys an intensive day-long healing circle for Indigenous professionals who work in the field to assist in their own healing journeys
  • A $5,000.00 donation buys an 8-week family drumming program for 40 participants
  • A $10,000.00 donation buys a 3-day cultural teepee camp for up to 12 youth

Are you a Calgary Foundation Fundholder?

Contact Info


Michelle James



More Info

Charity Number: #841559610RR0001

Visit our Website