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Nov 01, 2023
In the early ‘90s, Elder Ruth Scalplock founded Awo Taan Healing Centre which means shield in the Blackfoot language.
The centre was created to meet the needs of Indigenous women in a traditional and spiritual way.
But Scalplock says only one Indigenous person is in a decision-making role at the centre.
“Women need a place to go to, especially here in Siksika and different reserves,” she told APTN News. “It was meant to be a unique shelter. Different from the white structured shelters.”
The centre is a 32-bed, “full service emergency shelter that provides services to women and children from all cultures,” according to its website. It provides “a broad continuum of support services, guided by Aboriginal traditional teachings, that include prevention, intervention, and healing to anyone affected by any form of abuse.”