Lil’wat receives funding for emergency women’s and children’s shelter

Lil’wat Nation has been awarded funding to construct an emergency women and children’s shelter here in Mt Currie. There was funding for the construction of 12 such facilities all across Canada, and Lil’wat was chosen for the BC location/ Construction and operating costs are fully funded.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

The press release announced this last week:

OTTAWA, ON, June 17, 2021 /CNW/ -The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), with the help of Indigenous partners has selected recipients for the construction of 12 new shelters across Canada for Indigenous women, children, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people escaping family violence.

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, along with the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced today over $85 million to build and support the operation of 12 new emergency shelters across Canada over 5 years, as well as an additional $10.2 million annually thereafter.

This initiative will add 12 new shelters to Indigenous Services Canada’s existing network of shelters for Indigenous women, children and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, and will be built in partnership with the following communities:

  • Lil’wat Nation, British Columbia
  • Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, Alberta
  • Whitefish Lake First Nation #459, Alberta
  • Prince Albert Grand Council, Saskatchewan
  • Keeseekoowenin, Manitoba
  • Hollow Water, Manitoba
  • Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario
  • Odanak First Nation, Quebec
  • Natoaganag (Eel Ground) First Nation, New Brunswick
  • Acadia First Nation, Nova Scotia
  • Council of Yukon First Nations, Yukon
  • Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Northwest Territories

These shelters will be Indigenous-led, and will provide vital refuge and culturally appropriate critical supports and services to help survivors of family violence recover from the trauma of their experiences, access support programming and create a stable environment where they can begin to regain an independent life. They are also a crucial element of the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People, the Government of Canada’s response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and an important contribution to the National Action Plan to end violence against Indigenous women, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.

In the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Canadaannounced an investment of $724.1 million to develop a comprehensive Violence Prevention Strategy, to expand culturally relevant supports for Indigenous women, children and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people facing gender-based violence. This will also help address the urgent need for new shelters and second-stage (transitional) housing for First Nations, Inuit and Métis across the country including on reserve, in the north and in urban areas. This initiative is also a key action in the Federal Pathway. Further information on the comprehensive Violence Prevention Strategy will be announced in the coming months. 

The Government of Canada takes the issue of violence against Indigenous women, children, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people very seriously and will continue to work in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and organizations as well as provincial and territorial governments, and other partners to develop effective and culturally-appropriate solutions. 

Quotes:

“Everyone deserves a safe place to call home. A place where a child is able to learn and grow in a stable environment. A place where a 2SLGBTQQIA+ youth can feel accepted. This is why our government is providing funding to build and operate 12 new emergency shelters across Canada. These will be places of sanctuary for Indigenous women, children, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people escaping family violence. These shelters will provide an opportunity to rebuild lives and gain independence, and will include access to critical Indigenous-led support services. This is the National Housing Strategy at work.” – The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

“Every Canadian should have somewhere to go if they are experiencing violence and abuse, especially those who are particularly at-risk of suffering gender-based violence. This investment in additional emergency shelters will help support Indigenous women, children and members of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community who find themselves in these situations. These shelters will provide a place where they can start to rebuild their lives, regain independence and feel safe.”  The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services

“Northern, remote, and isolated communities face many unique challenges in providing necessary services and supports for those escaping violence and abuse. This funding for the construction and operation of 12 new shelters will help Indigenous women, children, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people by giving them a safe place to go and culturally-appropriate resources they need to rebuild their lives. We will continue to work together closely in partnership with Indigenous, Northern, and territorial partners to provide the vital support that families need.” – The Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P., Minister of Northern Affairs

“Colonialism, racism, sexism and ableism have created systemic inequities and violence towards Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. Building and operating more shelters on reserve, in urban areas and in the North, is a concrete action and a critical step to help protect those who are trying to escape from violent situations. This is just one part of the work that is being done as outlined in the recent release of the 2021 MMIWG and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people National Action Plan which includes the Government of Canada’s Federal Pathway—a holistic and comprehensive approach to address the root causes of this violence.” –The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P., Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Quick facts:

  • $44.8 million will be invested to fund the construction of the shelters and $40.8 million will support operational costs for these new shelters over five years, with $10.2 million annually thereafter.
  • The selection process was guided by a committee with representatives from CMHC, ISC, the National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence, as well as Shelter Managers and Directors working in Indigenous shelters
  • Proposals were evaluated based on criteria including need, feasibility, and the enhancement of ISC-supported network of 46 shelters. Proposals were also assessed by the types of programs and services available to the community, including support for Indigenous women, children, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
  • The Family Violence Prevention Program under Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) supports the day-to-day operations of shelters serving First Nations and Indigenous communities in provinces and Yukon, as well as funding for community-driven proposals for family violence prevention projects on and off reserve. With this new investment the total number of ISC’s network of shelters will be 58 by 2024-2025.
  • Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10-year, $72+ billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home.
  • To help Canadians find affordable housing, Budget 2021 proposes to provide an additional $2.5 billion over seven years in new funding and a reallocation of $1.3 billion in previously announced funding to speed up the construction, repair, and support over 35,000 additional housing units.
  • Budget 2021 proposes $2.2 billion in federal investments to implement the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People.

Associated links:

Join the conversation about Indigenous peoples in Canada:

Twitter: @GCIndigenous
Facebook: @GCIndigenous
Instagram: @gcindigenous 

Facebook: @GCIndigenousHealth
Twitter: @Min_IndServ

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

For further information: Information on this release: Mikaela Harrison, Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, mikaela.harrison@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca; Media Relations,Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Media Relations, media@cmhc-schl.gc.ca ; Marie-Emmanuelle Cadieux, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Indigenous Services, marie-emmanuelle.cadieux@canada.ca ; Media Relations, Indigenous Services Canada, 819-953-1160, SAC.media.ISC@canada.ca

Related Links

www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca

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