Canada supports Indigenous womens shelter in Hammonds Plains

Press Release

Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia, July 18, 2022

People who are fleeing domestic violence need access to safe emergency shelters. That is why, through the help of the Government of Canada, Indigenous women and children fleeing domestic violence in Hammonds Plains will soon have access to a 28-bed shelter developed by Acadia First Nation.

Today, The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, accompanied by Lena Metlege Diab, Member of Parliament for Halifax West, and Chief Deborah Robinson of Acadia First Nation, had the opportunity to announce federal funding for the Weliankweyasimk Womens Shelter. The federal government, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is investing $4.1 million to support construction of the shelter, while Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is providing ongoing operational support.

The shelter, Weliankweyasimk, which means “well cared for” in Mi’kmaw, and will include a safe shelter for all Indigenous women and their children in Mi’kma’ki, with 24 hour staffing and 24-hour crisis phone line, supportive counselling, Mi’kmaw cultural, traditional and landbased teachings and children’s programs / day camp.

In 2021, the Weliankweyasimk Womens Shelter was selected as one of twelve shelters receiving a total of $85 million to build and support new emergency shelters across Canada over 5 years, as well as an additional $10.2 million annually thereafter. These shelters are Indigenous-led, and will provide vital refuge and culturally appropriate critical supports and services to help survivors of family violence recover from the trauma of their experiences, access support programming and create a stable environment where they can begin to regain an independent life.

This investment by the Government of Canada was made possible by the Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP), which provides funding to build and repair shelters and housing people who are fleeing domestic violence.
Quotes:

““Every Canadian deserves a safe place they can turn to in difficult times. Through the Shelter Enhancement Program, our government is investing in affordable housing for those who need it most. The Weliankweyasimk Womens Shelter will provide an opportunity to rebuild lives and gain independence, and will include access to critical Indigenous-led support services. This is the National Housing Strategy at work.””
— The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion

““This investment from the Government of Canada’s Shelter Enhancement Program is offering the women and children the peace of mind they need, knowing that they have a safe and secure place to turn to. This is the National Housing Strategy making a difference in the lives of the people right here in Hammonds Plains.””
— Lena Metlege Diab, Member of Parliament for Halifax West

““Knowing that our women and children have a safe place to go if they need to escape violence, is crucial. Weliankweyasimk will be more than just a shelter; it will be a safe place where our cultural ways are understood, respected and taught so that we can holisitcally support our Mi’kmaw women and children in need.””
— Chief Deborah Robinson, Acadia First Nation

Quick facts:

  • The Government of Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) is an ambitious, 10-year plan that will invest over $72 billion to give more Canadians a place to call home.
  • The Family Violence Prevention Program under Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) supports the day-to-day operations of shelters serving First Nations and Indigenous communities in provinces and Yukon, as well as funding for community-driven proposals for family violence prevention projects on and off reserve. With this new investment the total number of ISC’s network of shelters will be 58 by 2024 – 2025.

Associated links:

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford and that meets their needs. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.

To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, please visit www.placetocallhome.ca.

For information on this release:

Daniele Medlej
Office of the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
[email protected]

Media Relations
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
[email protected]

IHT5

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