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Victoria, B.C. – January 19, 2023 – The BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC) and The BC Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General is pleased to announce the first round of projects funded through the Path Forward Community Fund.
The Fund sponsors Indigenous-led, anti-violence projects that expand safety planning capacity for communities. The objective of the Fund is to ensure self-determination of Indigenous communities in addressing Indigenous-specific systemic causes of gender-based violence.
“It is made clear through the applications received that there is a need for sustained Indigenous-specific anti-violence programs to address generations of colonial anti-Indigenous violence that continues today. We must enable and create safety for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ community,” said BCAAFC Executive Director Leslie Varley.
“Violence against women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people is far too common in our society. For too many years Indigenous women and girls have been targeted, with little consequences to perpetrators of violence, and while culturally safe services was minimal. We raise our hands in respect to the Indigenous applicants for their commitment towards creating safer spaces in their communities.”
In April 2022, the BC Government announced that the BCAAFC will manage the $5.34-million Path Forward Community Fund. This is the first round of the Path Forward Community Fund, with a total of $2.75 million allocated to 20 organizations.
“The launch of the first round of projects for the Path Forward Community Fund is an exciting step forward in our work towards creating lasting reconciliation. The Fund will support Indigenous communities and organizations as they create and implement their own culturally safe solutions,” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.
“As this initiative moves forward to identify a second round of projects, we will continue to travel the path forward with our Indigenous partners, ensuring our work to end violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQ+ people is informed by survivors, family members and communities,” said Farnworth.
Round 2 of the Path Forward Community Fund is currently accepting applications. The deadline to submit an applications is Monday, January 23 at 11:59 p.m. Visit www.bcaafc.com/path-forward to apply.
Path Forward funding is open to Indigenous organizations, including First Nation communities, urban or off-reserve communities, Métis citizens, Inuit and 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities.
“The Path Forward Community Fund is a key opportunity for Indigenous-led organizations to make a tangible difference in their communities,” said BCAAFC Executive Director Leslie Varley. “We encourage all Indigenous organizations in B.C. to apply.”
For media inquiries, please contact:
BCAAFC Communications Coordinator
Path Forward Community Fund – Funded Projects:
Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness: “The Family Reunification Program for Indigenous Women Fleeing Violence Project”
The project aims to provide healing and reunification of families directly affected by gender-based violence. The Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness will use culturally appropriate healing and recovery practices and a decolonized harm reduction framework to help reduce/end homelessness among First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and non-status peoples across Vancouver Island.
AWTXW Foundation: “The Stó:lō Women’s Group Project”
The project aims to create safe spaces and safety planning to promote gatherings in a healing space, as well as promoting cultural teachings that are foundational to healing in Stó:lō communities. Creation of an accessible website for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people will give immediate information and external resources for any person fleeing or experiencing violence.
Carrier Sekani Family Services: “Highway of Tears Safety Capacity Building, Toolkit Engagement and Pilot Networking Project”
The project is a website-based series of group sessions that focuses on awareness and prevention of gender-based violence for family members of MMIWG from rural and remote Indigenous communities along the Highway of Tears. The project will also serve peoples who are living in urban areas throughout British Columbia.
Dze Ḻ K’ant Friendship Centre: “All Clans Patrol”
The All Clans Patrol project will create an emergency response team that will be expanded to the streets. Allowing Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people to feel safe while experiencing crisis after hours. The team will be trained in culturally safe approaches, self-defense, first-aid, mental health first-aid, and suicide prevention services.
Hulitan Family and Community Services:
1) Land Based Counselling Groups: Will provide land-based teachings and clinical healing to urban Indigenous youth who have been directly/in-directly affected by gender-based violence,
2) Keeping us Well: Will provide an eight=eek program to parents and caretakers, providing information and resources to better help youth to manage counselling services.
3) Behind Closed Doors: Will be a short culturally accurate movie to bring awareness to non-Indigenous and Indigenous communities about the effects of intergenerational trauma, gender-based violence and racism.
Lake Babine Nation: “Caring for the Caregivers as Crisis Prevention and Response”
The project will provide cultural safety training and supports for their community patrol program: Team Gooze. Team Gooze works closely with local RCMP and health services to heal and protect its community from increased industrial activity and transient workers, and by providing culturally responsive and wrap around care to those in need. Team Gooze responds to calls for emotional support, safety planning, crisis support, accompaniments to the police or health services, and cultural connection.
Land Back Healing Society: “Land Back Healing Society Workshop Series”
The project will facilitate a workshop cohort of 80 to 100 urban Indigenous community members in the greater Vancouver area to promote and teach cultural healing ways, and touch on known factors of intergenerational trauma and anxiety. The cohort goals are to promote self-sufficiency and healing within themselves, and others.
Lii Michif Family Support Services: “Creating Michif Approaches to Kikkew keur (Healing Hearts) Responses to Métis Survivors of Gender-Based Violence”
The project goal is to access a Métis-specific domestic violence community and agency educator. This educator will facilitate matriarchal circles with Elders and survivors to understand best practices to provide supports to Métis women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
Malahat Nation: “Malahat Nation Community Safety and Capacity Building Project”
The project goal is to expand services offered on the Malahat Nation to Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people living outside of their community. Malahat Nation aims to accomplish this goal by: facilitating community events to gather feedback on the direct priorities needed in the Malahat Nation; develop crisis response plans to establish strong networking to support the delivery of therapeutic programming, counselling, and life coaching; and developing culturally safe response strategies with the local RCMP.
Nawican Friendship Centre: “Next Steps”
The Next Steps project will create two rooms for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people that are at risk of homelessness. By creating medium-barrier, culturally-safe temporary shelter, the project will ensure the immediate success of those fleeing domestic violence and other unsafe situations.
North Cariboo Métis Association: “Healthy Relationships”
The Healthy Relationships project will serve Métis men and women who are directly affected by intimate partner violence through facilitated workshops.
Okanagan Nation Alliance: “Community Mobilization Project”
The project will serve the Sylix people by strategically researching with community engagement, developing tools and resources, educating and information sharing, as well as community capacity building. This will aid community members in coping and preventing domestic violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
Squamish Nation: “Squamish Nation Integrated Public Safety Strategy-Crime Prevention/Safety Planning”
The project will establish an integrated approach to public safety and crime prevention. By creating a holistic healing approach this will create impactful changes to the women, Elders, 2SLGBTQQIA+ community, and youth.
Stó:lō Services Agency: “Qwí:qwelstóm Wellness Program”
The project goal is to promote traditional healing in regards to relationships, and one’s self. By promoting healthy self-sufficiency, healing, and knowledge, communities will have immediate resources available for intimate partner violence, and other forms of abuse.
Tears to Hope Foundation:
Tears to Hope will facilitate multiple health and wellness workshops for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. By holding culturally safe and easily accessible workshops, this will give a new light to those experiencing hard times.
Tl’azt’en Nation: “Supporting Victims of Intimate Partner Violence/Gender-Based Violence”
The Supporting Victims of Intimate Partner Violence/Gender-Based Violence project goal is to uplift the health of the community by hiring a culturally safe clinical counsellor to assist in overseeing policy, procedures, laws, powers, and cultural connections.
Tillicum Lelum Friendship Centre: “Life Givers Project”
The Life Giver’s project will provide youth and young adults culturally safe learnings in a non-monolithic Indigenous worldview of balance and wellness.
Vancouver Aboriginal Health Society: “Our Circle is Strong”
The Our Circle is Strong project will hire a cultural support worker to oversee and guide Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people fleeing gender-based violence/intimate partner violence. The project will assist people navigating the health care system, filling out forms and making independent decisions.
Waceya Métis Society: “Giving Voice”
The Giving Voice project will facilitate 15 cultural workshops (such as beading and garment making, for example) that will provide a safe space to converse about gender-based violence in communities that affect all Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
Wachiay Friendship Centre: “Youth Against Violence”
The project will create workshops for Indigenous youth and young adults such as intimate partner violence information and resources, cultural workshops, self-defense training, and understanding verbal exchanges and de-escalation techniques.