Complex-care housing opens for Indigenous people –

November 13, 2023

People in Ktunaxa Nation communities living with complex mental-health and addiction challenges have new housing and tailored supports to help them stabilize their lives and break the cycle of homelessness.

The Ktunaxa Nation operates the facility, which offers services primarily to First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in the Cranbrook area. These services are meant to meet the unique needs of individuals who have complex trauma from past and ongoing colonial impacts.

“Most of the staff at the site have Ktunaxa lineage or are otherwise connected to our communities,” said Debbie Whitehead, director, social investment sector, Ktunaxa Nation. “Those who want to give back to their community have been hired and we are providing ongoing training. They are looked at as aunty and uncle by the clients. Of the 12 staff, 10 are Ktunaxa. When you realize that this complex-care housing is a safe place for people who have been kicked out of every single institution, you realize how vital and welcome it is. It’s a last resort and a safe place.”

“The toxic-drug crisis continues to have a greater impact on Indigenous people and communities than other B.C. residents,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

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