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Crime prevention, remediation grants announced for Cariboo Chilcotin

$352,890 coming from civil forfeiture crime prevention and remediation program
Several civil forfeiture grants have been approved for programs in the Cariboo Chilcotin and Bella Coola. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Several programs aimed at crime prevention and remediation in the Cariboo Chilcotin have been approved for provincial funding with one-time civil forfeiture grants, totalling $352,890.

“Over the past 15 years, most civil forfeiture cases have been related to drug, gang and organized crime. In turn, it’s appropriate that once again, some of the proceeds are going into gang prevention,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

Crime Prevention Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of British Columbia Out of Court Community Support Services Initiative, $74,845. This project will serve as a crime prevention and community safety effort for Indigenous persons accused of a crime and residing in Williams Lake, who have received a bail or probation order, and who have been identified as being potentially high risk for re-offending. The initiative’s objective is to address a critical gap in services by using a specialized Case Management Support Worker who can provide relevant, consistent support to help prevent Indigenous offenders from re-entering the justice system.

Read more: B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

Crime Prevention Big Brothers Big Sisters of Williams Lake In-School Mentoring Program, $30,000. This project will match at-risk youth between the ages of five and 13 from Williams Lake and 100 Mile House with mentors aged 14-18 through a new online mentoring platform. These mentors will provide girls and boys with a role model an

Crime Prevention Social Planning Council of Williams Lake Communities That Care, $74,045. This project will aim to improve the health and well-being of children and youth by reducing risk factors for crime, depression, substance use, violence, teen pregnancy, and school attrition. This project will focus on using data to identify a new set of priorities and engage with community partners in implementing collaborative approaches to meet the changing needs of youth and children.

Domestic Violence Prevention/Intervention Programming Canadian Mental Health Association - Cariboo Chilcotin Branch Become the Change, $30,000. This project is a non-mandated program for male participants 18 years or older, who are low to moderate risk of perpetrating or have perpetrated domestic violence against their intimate partners. This psycho-educational program, delivered in a group environment will create awareness (by shifting attitudes, perceptions and behaviors), build healthy boundary skills, creating a community of support for the future and improve community responsiveness for the participants.

Human Trafficking; Sexual Exploitation; Sex Worker Safety Canadian Mental Health Association - Cariboo Chilcotin Branch It Matters, $30,000. This project will work collaboratively with the Williams Lake School District to provide programming and education to all the school district youth, between the grades of seven to 12, who may potentially be at risk or who are being trafficked for the purpose of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. I The plan is to continue to collaborate with Indigenous communities to assist in the development and adoption of protocols that support Indigenous community leadership in identifying human trafficking and exploitation risks, along with how to identify and respond to suspect victims of such activities.

Indigenous Healing Yeqox Nilin Justice Society Indigenous Healing through Traditional Practices, $30,000. This project will target the Tsilhqot’in and Ulkatcho at-risk youth who have not been taught traditional survival skills to live off the land. Youth will connect to their culture through traditional harvesting and build a sense of belonging amongst their First Nation. Approximately 20 or more youth from each Tsilhqot’in and Ulkatcho community (seven communities in total) will participate.

Indigenous Healing Carrier Chilcotin Tribal Council Restoring the Role of Elders, $30,000. This project will engage Elders in the remote, rural Indigenous community of Ulkatcho to document and record traditional language and cultural practices. Language and protocol resources created through this project will protect important cultural traditions and support Elders in sharing their cultural knowledge. In addition, a network of community Elders will be developed to share their knowledge with and support one another to build confidence to practice their traditional roles as community and spiritual leaders.

Restorative Justice Williams Lake Community Council for Restorative Justice Williams Lake Restorative Justice Capacity Development and Service Delivery, $24,150 for bi-annual facilitator training. The abilities of current volunteers will be expanded and enhanced by way of peacemaking circle training and an anti-racism exploration group.

Restorative Justice Tl’etinqox Government Office The Tl’etinqox Restorative Justice Community Members program, $30,000. This project will target approximately 20 First Nations offenders who seek to make amends with victims, family, and community in a culturally appropriate way through pairing offenders with elders, wellness workers and a social worker to plan the circles, create traditional crafts/arts to gift to victims at the end of each healing circle, and host the circles in community. This project will bring awareness to the importance of being accountable for wrong-doing, learning and understanding the negative impacts of words and actions and offer a path forward.

Bella Coola

Restorative Justice Nuxalk Nation Nuxalk Restorative Justice Outreach program: This project will build awareness and increase capacity by hiring an Outreach worker to engage community members who are at risk of court involvement or jail, the Victim Assistance workers, the school leadership both on and off the Reserve, the Circuit Court team and the R.C.M.P. The Outreach worker will organize 8 two-hour Covid-safe, educational activities about Restorative Justice options for victims and offenders. It is expected that self-referrals and referrals from all agencies will rise, and that court involvement and incarceration rates will fall. $30,000 Bella Coola

Gender-Based Violence, Violence Against Women, Domestic Violence, and Sexual Assault Bella Coola Community Support Society Iixsanaw wa Alhxapaliikw (Horses are Medicine) for Strengthening Young Women: This project will provide a culturally relevant, culturally safe, and trauma informed Equine Assisted Learning and Wellness (EAL/W) Project that addresses intimate partner violence and sexual assault against Indigenous women and girls, aged 12-19 years of age. Up to 20 participants will be served by this project through 8-10 EAL/W sessions, facilitated by trauma and addictions specialists, and supported by cultural leaders, focusing on self-esteem, safety planning, boundary setting, personal sovereignty, and healing from trauma, all of which underpin prevention of, and healing from, sexual assault. $24,500 Bella Coola

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