ANKORS East Kootenay held a march in Cranbrook on Monday, August 31, 2020, for Overdose Awareness Day. They marched from the Cranbrook ANKORS location to City Hall, where there was a peaceful protest out front. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)

ANKORS East Kootenay held a march in Cranbrook on Monday, August 31, 2020, for Overdose Awareness Day. They marched from the Cranbrook ANKORS location to City Hall, where there was a peaceful protest out front. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)

Grant funding awarded for overdose support in B.C. Interior

Funding to be used for overdose-related supports in rural, remote and Indigenous communities

Rural communities and non-profit organizations in the Interior Health region have received grant funding to support and expand localized overdose response and awareness effort.

The grants are aimed at providing live-saving supports, developing harm reduction policies, reducing stigma, and knowledge-sharing, according to a news release.

“People living in rural, remote and Indigenous communities are best equipped to address the overdose crisis on the ground in their communities,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “I’m grateful for the wisdom and expertise of community leaders whose innovative projects are making a difference during two public health emergencies.”

The recipients include Acknowledging All Nations & Developing Unity, OneSky Community Resources, AIDS Network Kootenay Outreach and Support Society (ANKORS), Shuswap Indian Band and Dudes Club Society.

Given the geographic challenges throughout the B.C. Interior, those in remote communities often have issues accessing substance-use programs or services.

“The news that ANKORS has been awarded this grant comes with so much excitement and hope,” said Alexis Hekkers, prevention education co-ordinator with ANKORS. “We continue to see the impacts that COVID-19 and the overdose crisis have on our Indigenous peoples at devastating levels. In 2020, we lost so many to fatal overdoses and many of them Indigenous women.

“As a Metis woman with lived experience, I see this as an opportunity to create some true positive change for our Indigenous peoples in the form of harm reduction services, education, support and connection. I can’t wait to see what ANKORS can do to support our Indigenous peoples further in the East Kootenay.”

According to provincial data, Indigenous peoples and communities are disproportionately impacted by the overdose crisis, with higher overdose death rates as the illicit drug supply has become increasingly toxic.

“Kuksetemc [thank you] so much for the great news on the success of this application,” said Danielle Armstrong, health director, Shuswap Indian Band. “Our community is very overwhelmed and excited to be able to better support our membership for the next 12 months.

“Shuswap Band members have experienced great loss due to the opioid crisis over this past year and knowing we can bring in additional support to assist with the healing of our members is so amazing! I look forward to sharing our success stories.”

More than $1 million in grant funding is being distributed to 23 rural and Indigenous communities and organizations in the province.



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon Arm Homes for Rent/Sale Etc. is a popular Facebook page used by those with places for rent and people in need of them. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Carpenter building homes in Salmon Arm unable to find place to rent

Property manager says it’s easier to find work in Salmon Arm than a place to live

Salmon Arm City Hall is closing between noon and 2 p.m. effective April 12, 2021. (File photo)
Pandemic precautions change hours at Salmon Arm city hall

Public will still be able to access services online during two hours when facility closed

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Interior Health announces 89 cases of COVID-19 in the region

Currently, there are 900 active cases in the region

The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
Suspicion of ‘fake news media’ makes rally uncomfortable for Salmon Arm event photographer

More than 300 people counted at city park for ‘Rally For Food Security’

B.C. wineries are open for indoor tasting despite new provincial health regulations. Photo- 
50th Parallel Winery, Instagram.
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A five-storey, 60-unit building has been proposed for 8709 Jubilee Rd. E., Summerland. The proposal will be the subject of a public hearing on March 22. (Image by GTA Architecture)
Zoning, OCP amendments adopted for Summerland housing development

Council gives final readings for controversial five-storey, 60-unit housing development

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

The former Summerland Asset Development Initiative building on Prairie Valley Road in Summerland was suggested as the site for a temporary transitional housing facility for the community. However, Summerland council has rejected this proposal. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland council rejects transitional housing facility

Concerns raised about short timeline and condition of municipally-owned building

Shayla, an 8-pound black and grey Havanese, was stolen from outside a store on Banks Road on Saturday. (Contributed)
Stolen pup located, Kelowna RCMP confirms

Mounties said on April 12 that Shayla, the 8-pound, black and grey Havanese dog, has been located safe and sound

Penticton Vees continue their winning streak carrying a 5-0 win title as of Sunday night's hockey action. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)
Penticton Vees continue winning streak

Sunday night’s 6-1 win has them with five in a row since the start of the season

Most Read