The DUDES Club was established in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside in 2010 and since then clubs have been set up in communities across British Columbia (see SITES). The DUDES Club is a proven model for Indigenous men’s wellness promotion that builds solidarity and brotherhood, enabling men to regain a sense of pride and purpose in their life.
A three-year evaluation study found that participants derive increasing benefits across the measured dimensions of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health, and find DUDES a safe environment to connect and share. Indigenous men derive particular benefits from being a part of DUDES, including increased trust in people, social/peer support, and connection to heritage and culture.
Within DUDES Clubs the hierarchy of the western medical model is flattened, and the healthcare providers who are involved prioritize cultural competence and safety, genuine connections, and support to help men navigate the healthcare system. Men who often carry with them intergenerational trauma related to the loss of or damage to their land, culture, family, language, and identity, are able to begin to drop some of their armour.
The program is community-driven and highlights the importance of peer champions.
Who Are We
1 - To build solidarity, brotherhood, trust, and positive role models together with men.
2 - To promote holistic, cost-effective men’s health through accessible dialogue, education, and health screening opportunities.
3 - To enable men to regain a sense of pride, purpose, and fulfillment in their life.
To facilitate a participant-led community for men's wellness with activity-based clubs that prioritize supportive relationships, engagement in healthcare, and local Indigenous worldviews.
The DUDES Club’s Vision is of a renewed role for men* supporting each other and their families in building wellness and strong communities. The DUDES Club’s Vision is of a renewed role for men working with each other in building wellness and strong families and communities.
DUDES Clubs are open to all individuals who self-identify as men. DUDES Club works within communities with significant Indigenous populations, and can grow to where local leadership capacity, motivation, and resources exist to support a DUDES Club. DUDES works in the aftermath of several centuries of violent colonialism, and as such many of the men participating in DUDES Clubs experience social, political, and economic marginalization.
STATEMENT OF NEED
The DUDES Club works within a context of historical colonialism and the resulting displacement from traditional land and destruction of culture, language, and healthy roles for men in society; leading to structural inequities related to poverty, social marginalization, lateral violence, intergenerational trauma, cycles of violence, and addictions. The DUDES Club also recognizes a historical context of patriarchy, which has defined inequitable and unsustainable gender roles that all too often see women and certain groups of men have marginalized status in society.
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