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With no part of BC left untouched by overdose it is recognized that the most effective action comes from strengthening local responses.
People in rural and remote areas face obstacles when it comes to accessing substance-use services. Geographic remoteness may mean longer travel distances to access health care and treatment, and access to Naloxone and harm reduction services can be limited in areas with low populations. First Nations people and Indigenous communities are over-represented when it comes to overdose deaths and an increasingly toxic drug supply has magnified the impact of the overdose crisis. Data from January to October 2020 shows First Nations people died from overdose at a rate 5.5 times higher than other residents in B.C., a consequence of historical and existing systems of colonialism and oppression.
In partnership with the Provincial Overdose Emergency Response Centre (OERC) CAI offered funding for rural, remote and Indigenous overdose initiatives or projects, between 2021 and 2022. These funds were intended to address inequities in the overdose response in rural, remote and Indigenous communities, by supporting community groups, service providers, and Indigenous-led organizations to carry out local actions specific to the needs of their community. Through these grants, actions such as connecting people to life saving supports, reducing stigma, developing harm reduction policies, relationship-building and knowledge sharing were funded. More than $1 million in grants were distributed to 23 rural, remote and Indigenous communities and organizations throughout BC. For a full list of grantees, please see below.
We are pleased to share the recipients of the Rural, Remote and; Indigenous Overdose Grants:
Quesnel Shelter & Support Society
Dze L K’ant Frienship Centre Society
Fort Nelson First Nation
Indigenous Women’s Sharing Society
Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society
Kwakiutl District Council Health
Lil̓wat Nation – Lil̓wat Health and Healing
Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society (LFVAS)
McLeod Lake Indian Band
Nislaa Naay Healing House Society
OneSky Community Resources
Shuswap Indian Band
Positive Living North
Spuzzum First Nation
LIFT Community Services
Ts’ewulhtun Health Centre, Cowichan Tribes (Kwunatsustul)
Tsay Keh Dene Nation
Unlocking the Gates
Westcoast Community Resources Society
Carrier Sekani Family Services
Penticton Indian Band
Mid-Island Peer Network
Salt Spring and Southern Gulf Islands Community Services Society
Red Earth Medicine
The link to the past application form and application guidelines can be found by clicking the links below:
Janine Stevenson, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Special Projects