Fisher River Cree Nation announce the construction of a new Transitional Housing Shelter
The proposal submitted to the Indigenous Shelters and Transitional Housing Initiative, a funding stream with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), was successful in accessing $3.4 million dollars to build a new, 5-unit apartment complex. This project also includes start-up costs and on-going operational funding.
The First Nation Healing Centre (FNHC) has been operating as an emergency women’s shelter for 32 years and has been striving to expand services in second stage housing for women and children fleeing domestic abuse. Currently, the FNHC provides temporary shelter services for fifty (50) days. First of all, this is not enough time to heal from violence and trauma, as well as take steps to securing safe housing options. The short time frame for services has always been identified as a key factor in women leaving violence.
Ka pah pak means “Butterfly” in Cree. It is understood that the name of this program symbolizes the journey in which women leave a life with violence or abuse and transition into a beautiful life for herself and her children.
Ka pah pak Transitional Housing Shelter will allow residents to live for up to one year. This timeframe will provide residents and staff vital time for programming and seeking avenues for safe housing.
“We worked very hard on the proposal, compiled a team of people here in our community to do this important work. We are proud that our community has many professionals with designations to help us complete assessment requirements in the application process as well as our own consultants that care for the cause and the greater good of our community” – Chief David Crate, Fisher River Cree Nation
It’s so exciting for our woman to have this extra support, time to heal, become stronger and beginning of a healthier lifestyle. We have the resources & capacity here within our own community to help with everyone’s healing process. I am proud we are to be opening this stepping stone on-reserve and that such an initiative takes steps to addressing the issues identified in the National Inquiry for MMIWG2S+” – Councillor Hillary Murdock, Fisher River Cree Nation
“In 2021, 70% of women we worked with had no choice but to return to unsafe living situations, due to lack of safe housing opportunities. This statistic is a hard reality and only shines light on a small portion of the problem Indigenous people face with healing from years of trauma. A lot of the issues women face when escaping violence, overlap and are layered from generational and systemic issues. Ka Pah Pak will really help change lives and address the cycle of domestic abuse.” – Katina Cochrane, Executive Director, FNHC
The Ka pah pak Centre will include furnished apartments, with kitchen and laundry facility in each suite; a childcare and program space, offices and security systems.
Fisher River Chief and Council, along with staff of FNHC, are hosting a Ground Blessing Ceremony on May 29th, 2023 at 1 pm at the site of construction. If there are any questions, please feel free to contact Katina Cochrane at (204) 645-2750.