The Ministry of Health recently announced new funding for Aboriginals affected by family violence in Sooke and throughout BC. The short version is that $1.5 million is being made available for the next two years, and it is to be distributed to agencies providing services throughout the province. A focus will be placed on rural and remote communities.
The greater Sooke region is home to three recognized Aboriginal groups: The T’Sou-ke Nation, upon who’s lands the town of Sooke resides; the Pacheedaht First Nation in Port Renfrew; and, the Sc’ianew (Chenuh) First Nations’ whose main community is on Beecher Bay in East Sooke.
Below are the press release and input from the opposition. Additional resources are listed at the bottom.
Government Release: Funding to help Aboriginal people affected by violence
The Province is investing $1.5 million to increase services and supports throughout the province for Aboriginal people who are affected by domestic violence.[sam id=”15″ codes=”true”]Aboriginal women and children reflect a higher percentage of British Columbians who are affected by domestic violence. In fact, Aboriginal women are nearly three times more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence than non-Aboriginal women.
The $1.5-million investment will be used over the next two years to provide direct services for Aboriginal women, men, and children who experience domestic violence.
The Province will work with a partnership table of government, non-government and Aboriginal representatives to develop funding criteria, with a focus on increasing services and supports in rural and remote communities. The BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres will distribute the confirmed funding – on behalf of the B.C. government – to partner agencies.
Today’s announcement supports the government’s second- and third-year commitments under the three-year, $5.5-million Provincial Domestic Violence Plan which include improving direct services for Aboriginal children, youth and families in rural and remote communities. Developed in consultation with Aboriginal communities and organizations, the plan supports culturally relevant approaches and programs for Aboriginal people who are affected by domestic violence, including survivors and perpetrators.
In order to present a balanced perspective, Sooke PocketNews sought input from Scott Fraser, the NDP MLA from Albern-Pacific Rim and the critic for Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation (he is also the Caucus Deputy Whip).
Mr. Fraser was pleased to see that money was going towards violence prevention for Aboriginals, and he was equally pleased that the government was working with the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres. His concern was in the fact that the funds were non-sustaining, pointing out that $1.5 million spent over two years across a big province was not that much.
“It remains to be seen if it amounts to anything,” Mr. Fraser said. “It’s a big province, and it’s only two years of funding.”
- BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres
- T’Sou-ke Nation
- Pacheedaht First Nation
- Sc’ianew (Chenuh) First Nation
- Original government release
- Scott Fraser, NDP