(Files by Catherine Garrett-MyPGNow)
BC is supporting Indigenous communities and organizations to end gender-based violence through 20 unique projects that support and collaborate with Indigenous women and girls.
“We are supporting community-led projects that provide opportunities for healing and violence prevention to ensure the health, well-being and safety of Indigenous women and girls,” said Barb Ward-Burkitt, chair, Minister’s Advisory Council on Indigenous Women (MACIW).
“Indigenous women are three times more likely to be victims of violence, and these projects give voice to stopping violence against Indigenous women and girls by changing behaviors and attitudes and empowering communities.”
The projects are funded through MACIW’s Giving Voice initiative.
This year’s grants support community-led initiatives that encourage dialogue about gender-based violence and opportunities for healing, such as land-based cultural practices and retreats, healing circles, knowledge sharing, monthly gatherings, ceremonies and writing workshops.
“Through this initiative, more people are learning to speak out to end gender-based violence. This is how attitudes will change, and we can create a safe environment that promotes healing,” said Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.
“I raise my hands to all the courageous participants who are leading and joining in Giving Voice.”
Under the program, grants ranging from $5,000 to $16,000 are provided to community groups to create, develop and offer opportunities that address the issue of gender-based violence.
The Province has provided $200,000 in funding for this year’s projects, which span all corners of B.C., including recipients in urban, rural and remote communities, on- and off-reserve.
Some of the successful applicants in the north include:
* Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Society (Smithers)
* Upper Skeena Learning Society (Hazelton)
* North Cariboo Métis Association (Quesnel)
* Fireweed Collective Society (Fort St. John)
* Northeast Aboriginal Business Centre (Fort St. John)
* Sisters in Spirit Fort St. John (Fort St. John)