Four First Nations communities in northern B.C. are receiving provincial funding for well-being and poverty-reduction plans and projects in their communities. The money comes from the First Nations Well Being Fund.
More than $2 million in grants has been provided to 62 First Nations communities throughout the province.
The First Nations Well Being Fund is administered by the First Nations Public Service Secretariat, in partnership with the First Nations Leadership Council. It supports First Nations and tribal councils in their efforts to promote well-being, improve quality of life for community members on and off reserve, and reduce poverty at the community or nation level.
“Numerous studies have shown that Indigenous peoples experience the highest levels of poverty, with a shocking 25 per cent of Indigenous people in Canada living in poverty,” said Cheryl Casimer, political executive, First Nations Summit. “This poverty reduction initiative was created to assist B.C. First Nations to increase well-being within their communities and membership. This welcome program is a modest step toward addressing the disproportionally high rates of poverty for First Nations’ citizens in B.C. The program was very oversubscribed, which clearly shows there is a high demand for much-needed funding for these types of important community projects. We hope that the success of this initiative will lead to greater poverty reduction funding opportunities for our communities in the future.”
The B.C. government provided funding as part of TogetherBC, the Province’s poverty-reduction strategy.
* Cheslatta Carrier Nation – $35,000 to promote local food security, build a community fish camp and smokehouse, and teach traditional food canning methods.
* Dease River First Nation – $35,000 to support local food security by building raised garden beds and providing plants and seeds for 30 community households.
* Lheidli T’enneh First Nation – $34,850 to deliver training on traditional fishery techniques and a week-long cultural event focused on food preservation methods.
* Takla Lake First Nation – $35,000 for food security, and cultural and wellness initiatives, including healing techniques, a smokehouse, and garden and gazebo for the community.
Applications to the first intake of the fund closed May 30, 2021. All B.C. First Nations were eligible to apply to the fund, which was created with a $2.7-million grant from the province.