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OAFM Renames Elder Mediation to Respect Indigenous Communities

Toronto

The Ontario Association for Family Mediation (OAFM) is pleased to announce that its Board of Directors today passed a motion changing the name of Elder Mediation, to Intergenerational Mediation. Intergenerational Mediation is the mediation of any dispute or conflict involving older adults. The designation ‘Accredited Elder Mediator’ (or “AccEM”) shall become ‘Accredited Intergenerational Mediator’ (or “AccIM”).

At OAFM, there has been discussion in the past about the name of Elder Mediation and the confusion that this may or may not have in relation to Indigenous communities and the integral component of Elders in their culture and teachings.

Elders are very important members of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities. Being an Elder is not defined by age, but rather Elders are recognized because they have earned the respect of their community through wisdom, harmony, and balance of their actions in their teachings. The term is bestowed by the community to individuals who are deemed spiritual and cultural knowledge keepers. Elders have attained a high degree of understanding of First Nation, Metis, or Inuit history, traditional teachings, ceremonies, and healing practices. They pass this knowledge on to others and to give advice and guidance on personal issues as well as on issues affecting their communities and nations. First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples value their Elders and all older people and address them with utmost respect.

Given the recent horrific discoveries pertaining to the residential schools, the OAFM Board of Directors determined that it was time to implement a name change for Elder Mediation to honour, respect, and value Elders in the First Nation, Metis, and Inuit Communities. With that in mind, Executive Director, Mary-Anne Popescu; and Elizabeth Sterritt, Chair of the Elder Mediation Committee, facilitated discussion with the Committee and Elder Mediators, and the motion passed.

What is Intergenerational Mediation?

Intergenerational Mediators are professionally trained mediators who possess skilful, current knowledge about the types of issues that are particularly likely to be associated with older adults. These issues can include:

  • estate and retirement planning
  • driving and transportation
  • housing and living arrangements
  • health care and medical decision making
  • safety in community and at home
  • abuse and neglect
  • caregiver responsibility
  • relationship concerns
  • new marriages and blended families
  • religious issues
  • holiday schedules
  • financial concerns
  • family business
  • guardianship
  • end of life issues

Accredited Intergenerational Mediators use the advanced-level mediation technique called Insight Mediation, and they have a minimum of 120 hours of specialized training.

Media Contact, Ottawa:

Christopher Deeble, B.A., LL.B., AccFM / ODR Specialist
President, Ottawa Chapter
Nelligan Law
Family Law Group & Estates Law Group
Tel: 613-231-9335

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