A new shelter for victims of domestic violence will open at the Lake Babine Nation in Burns Lake.
The Carrier Sekani Family Services (CSFS) will operate the CSFS SafeHouse that will open on April 1, 2019.
“It’s [part of] a long-term vision. We wanted to have a clan health model and a safe place for families and children to go,” CSFS executive director Mary Teegee told Lakes District News.
CSFS submitted a proposal to the federal government and two years ago it was announced that the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation would provide $10.4 million over three years for five communities across Canada to build shelters.
“We were successful. From there we looked at where we could put it. The Lake Babine Nation came forward and said they have a piece of property we could put it on,” Teegee said.
Lake Babine was the only First Nations community in British Columbia and western Canada to be chosen for the initiative.
Teegee stressed that the project, which is mainly intended for First Nations people is about more than just offering immediate safety for those fleeing domestic violence.
“[The shelter will have] wraparound services for the family and not just for individuals. At CSFS we have mental health workers and social workers and mental health clinicians…it’s a very unique approach.”
CSFS, headquartered in Prince George and also with a local office in Burns Lake provides health and wellness services for Carrier and Sekani communities in north central B.C.