The BC government announced it is allocating $1.5 million in funding for trauma-informed mental health and wellness support for victims of residential schools.

As a result of the ongoing findings at former Indian Residential Schools, this week was declared Truth and Reconciliation Week with the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday, September 30th—a new federal statutory holiday in Canada.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation provides an opportunity to recognize and commemorate the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools, and to honour survivors, their families and communities.

The allocation of these funds will be put towards the additional counselling and cultural support staff of the 24/7 support line and to provide more in-person health and wellness and cultural support at the sites of former Indian Residential School and Indian Hospitals.

Metis Nation BC will also receive funding to expand their Metis Counselling Connection Program specific to the experience of Metis survivors.

The $1.5 million comes from the province’s funding of $12 million announced in June dedicated to the BC Residential School Response Fund.

“The Indian Residential School Survivors Society would like to express our profound gratitude to the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation for its commitment to reconciliation by taking action towards the mental health and wellness journey of all former students of Residential Schools including intergenerational,” executive director of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, Angela White, said.

“We are working tirelessly to support former students of Residential Schools and their families through programs and services for the youth, 2SLGBTQ+, Elders and families. This funding will have a direct impact and be used for services that include grief and loss counselling, crisis counselling, family and group counselling and programs, traditional healing methods, crisis support and mental health and wellness.”

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