Stó:lō Service Agency

Communities served:  

In addition to First Nations people in generally, we have focused specifically on an underserved, high-risk group: First Nations women. In our effort to highlight the underserved, we have also targeted men in trades.


Sto:lo Service Agency began its’ response to the overdose crisis in 2018 when CAI partnered with the City of Chilliwack, Fraser Health Authority, and Chilliwack Healthier Community. SSA’s involvement in the Chilliwack overdose crisis began four years ago with the Community Action Initiative (CAI) partnership with the City of Chilliwack, Fraser Health and Chilliwack Healthier Community. Over 50 local agencies were involved in the original working groups, including first responders, police, downtown security, health professionals and community agencies.

In its inception, the greatest strength was the diverse numbers of stakeholders with a common goal. While the work has continued with Fraser Health and SSAS,
“SSA is a single organization, but Fraser Health is an excellent partner as the primary purveyors of services. The decisions regarding patient care are made by Fraser Health and a significant amount of the preventative work is being done at SSA, so the decisions are made in-house.”

As a First Nations service organization, SSA have strong ties with 26 local First Nations groups. As well as strong collaboration with front-line work at Fraser Health. The 50 partners in Chilliwack Healthier Community have supported this work, but we are proudest of having created relationships with local businesses, including a number of large trades franchises and the Molson bottling plant. The businesses have allowed us to deliver information sessions about Naloxone to their employees.
We are also proud of our connection with the University of Fraser Valley. UFV has hosted several learning sessions in partnership with our team for trades students, as well as allowed us (virtual) floor-space in their classroom lectures to disseminate our knowledge product; Á:ylexw tel Th’á:lá.

Overview of Overdose Response Work
• Creating a call to action within the local Chilliwack Community
• Shed light on hidden populations at risk of overdose

Lessons Learned
Quote: “For a multi-stakeholder partnership on the scale of our Community Action Team (over 50 partners), it is absolutely essential that a Coordinator is established and is a paid position. Without the central axis, the project can become ungainly and eventually partners lose interest.”


7201 Vedder Road Chilliwack, B.C. V2R 4G5

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