An INdigenous woman unveils a thunderbird carving. A couple of woman observe this.

Grant awarded to Kuu-us Crisis Line Society, which serves Indigenous communities across B.C.

By Alexandra Mehl, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Port Alberni, BC – Kuu-us Crisis Line Society is one of 22 Indigenous-led non-profits awarded $216, 000 over the course of three years from a provincial program.

Cindy McAnerin, associate director at Kuu-us Crisis Line Society, said a need that they have is to upgrade their vehicles for outreach.

“The vehicles we have now are fairly old, [and have] high kilometers. So we’ve been really in need of a new vehicle,” said McAnerin. “Without a dependable vehicle, it essentially prevents us from being able to do our outreach.”

Their outreach team often drives out to remote communities on the West Coast delivering food hampers and hygiene kits. The vehicles also function as transportation for clients.

Five million dollars from the Indigenous Resilience and Recovery Grant Initiative is to be distributed among 23 Indigenous-led non-profits throughout the country, part of a $34-million-dollar funding initiative. Twenty-two organizations have been selected to each receive $216, 000 over a period of three years and one has been selected to receive $150, 000 over two years. The administrators of the grant are the Vancouver Foundation, United Way B.C., and New Relationship Trust.

During the pandemic the demand for services for Kuu-us Crisis Line Society increased, said McAnerin. 

“I think it was a lot to do with people being isolated and not being able to access services as they normally would in the community,” she said. 

“Indigenous non-profits work hard to empower people, advance reconciliation, and change lives, but they need resources in order to do that work,” said Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. “The Kuu-us Crisis Line Society is a critical service that supports people in Port Alberni, as well as Indigenous people across BC, and this grant will help ensure they can continue their operations and help people in need.”

Top image credit: A carving of a thunderbird is unveiled at the Kuu-us Crisis Line’s Adelaide Street location on Aug. 8, 2018. The event celebrated the service’s 25 years of operation. (Denise Titian photo)

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