ANKORS East Kootenay held a march in Cranbrook on Monday, August 31, 2020, for Overdose Awareness Day. They marched from the Cranbrook ANKORS location to City Hall, where there was a peaceful protest out front. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)

ANKORS East Kootenay held a march in Cranbrook on Monday, August 31, 2020, for Overdose Awareness Day. They marched from the Cranbrook ANKORS location to City Hall, where there was a peaceful protest out front. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)

Grant funding awarded for overdose support in B.C. Interior

Funding to be used for overdose-related supports in rural, remote and Indigenous communities

Rural communities and non-profit organizations in the Interior Health region have received grant funding to support and expand localized overdose response and awareness effort.

The grants are aimed at providing live-saving supports, developing harm reduction policies, reducing stigma, and knowledge-sharing, according to a news release.

“People living in rural, remote and Indigenous communities are best equipped to address the overdose crisis on the ground in their communities,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “I’m grateful for the wisdom and expertise of community leaders whose innovative projects are making a difference during two public health emergencies.”

The recipients include Acknowledging All Nations & Developing Unity, OneSky Community Resources, AIDS Network Kootenay Outreach and Support Society (ANKORS), Shuswap Indian Band and Dudes Club Society.

Given the geographic challenges throughout the B.C. Interior, those in remote communities often have issues accessing substance-use programs or services.

“The news that ANKORS has been awarded this grant comes with so much excitement and hope,” said Alexis Hekkers, prevention education co-ordinator with ANKORS. “We continue to see the impacts that COVID-19 and the overdose crisis have on our Indigenous peoples at devastating levels. In 2020, we lost so many to fatal overdoses and many of them Indigenous women.

“As a Metis woman with lived experience, I see this as an opportunity to create some true positive change for our Indigenous peoples in the form of harm reduction services, education, support and connection. I can’t wait to see what ANKORS can do to support our Indigenous peoples further in the East Kootenay.”

According to provincial data, Indigenous peoples and communities are disproportionately impacted by the overdose crisis, with higher overdose death rates as the illicit drug supply has become increasingly toxic.

“Kuksetemc [thank you] so much for the great news on the success of this application,” said Danielle Armstrong, health director, Shuswap Indian Band. “Our community is very overwhelmed and excited to be able to better support our membership for the next 12 months.

“Shuswap Band members have experienced great loss due to the opioid crisis over this past year and knowing we can bring in additional support to assist with the healing of our members is so amazing! I look forward to sharing our success stories.”

More than $1 million in grant funding is being distributed to 23 rural and Indigenous communities and organizations in the province.



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nick Trask, 36, and Ryan Ellison, 35, died in a boat collision on Osoyoos Lake in 2019. (Facebook photo)
Meth, excessive speed found as factors in Osoyoos boat crash deaths

Nick Trask, 36, and Ryan Ellison, 35, died in a boat collision on Osoyoos Lake in 2019

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
54 more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty-two people in the region are in hospital with the virus, 11 of them in intensive care

The automated external defibrillator, like the one pictured here, was stolen from the Skaha Lake Boathouse for the second time in a year. (File)
Life-saving device stolen from Penticton paddler community for second time

It’s hoped that a new boathouse will be able to better protect the device

scales of justice
Guilty or not guilty? Lamb waits on two judges’ decisions

Trials for two of Bryan Lamb’s criminal cases wrapped up this week

Katerina Bakalos of Summerland will release her first single on May 1. The music label is LMS Entertainment from Kelowna. (Contributed)
Summerland singer to release single under Kelowna-based label

Katerina Bakalos has performed a rock rendition of I Think We’re Alone Now

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Virtual meetings are taking a toll on local governance, according to multiple mayors in the North Okanagan. (Headway photo)
Virtual meetings leave North Okanagan politicians out of touch

More than a year of Zoom has led to a disconnect between officials, according to local mayors

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
‘I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident wants the Columbia River better protected

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Police road checks are coming for people travelling between regions while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Vehicle checks on highways, at ferry terminals to start Friday

Most Read