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Posted: December 18, 2017

16 Columbia Basin social projects to receive $1 million

Columbia Basin Trust announces its most recent Social Grants recipients

From young to old, people with diverse needs from around the Columbia Basin will benefit from 16 projects aimed at improving their social well-being. These projects are being funded by $1 million in Social Grants from Columbia Basin Trust.

“Our goal is to strengthen social well-being and address social issues in Basin communities,” said Aimee Ambrosone, Columbia Basin Trust Director, Delivery of Benefits. “All of these projects are taking concrete actions that will have lasting effects, both on the individuals who access the services and on overall quality of life in our region.”

The Ktunaxa Nation Council is one of the grant recipients. They are developing and delivering a culturally appropriate Aboriginal justice system.

“This project will be based on the Medicine Wheel and use a holistic approach to address the areas of spiritual, emotional, mental and physical well-being,” said Debbie Whitehead, Social Sector Director. “Many of our Aboriginal young people are not only affected by developmental disabilities, they lack connection to culture and family. Without guidance and direction, they are vulnerable and easy prey to be welcomed into the crime community. The Ktunaxa Nation is committed to ensuring Aboriginal people involved in the justice system are not falling through the cracks. Our hope is this project will help to circumvent crime involvement and reduce recidivism by addressing the root causes of criminal behaviour.”

The Trust has distributed more than $6 million to improving social well-being in our communities since starting the Social Grants program in 2012.


Projects funded in the East Kootenay/Creston Valley/Golden

Columbia Valley – Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley – $16,325 to train hospice volunteers at several hospices to expand and improve their abilities to support people who are experiencing losses related to trauma and suicide.

Creston Valley – Valley Community Services Society – $60,000 to train staff and community volunteers so they can support the growing number of seniors who are experiencing early dementia.

Golden – Golden Family Centre Society – $69,350 to deliver low-barrier adult counselling services (including single – session walk – in counselling) to address a growing wait – list and provide timely care to people dealing with immediate challenges or crisis situations.

East Kootenay – Canadian Mental Health Association – $65,000 to provide coordination and support services to the Community Coordination for Safety in Relationships committee and the East Kootenay Sexualized Assault Response Team to improve services provided to people experiencing relationship violence and sexualized assault.

Ktunaxa Nation – Ktunaxa Nation Council – $114,405 to Identify and research traditional justice systems, including kinship systems, of the many Aboriginal cultures the council serves. It will then assess the feasibility of, develop and deliver a culturally appropriate Aboriginal Justice System. The goal is to improve outcomes, reduce re-offense and promote healing and recovery for Aboriginal people involved in the mainstream justice system.

Sparwood – District of Sparwood – $11,000 for supporting the delivery of the Ghostrider Adventure Camp. This low-barrier camp provides opportunities for youth to experience the outdoors through programs and activities intended to improve social networks, self-esteem and overall well-being.

Columbia Basin-wide – ANKORS ( AIDS Network Kootenay Outreach and Support Society ) – $120,000 to deliver health promotion, harm prevention and sexual health training and education programs to residents, educators and service providers. The goal is to shift attitudes and reduce bias and stigma by providing factual information geared at reducing high – risk behaviours in vulnerable populations.

For more information about the program, visit To learn all the ways the Trust supports social well-being in the Basin, visit

Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit or call 1-800-505-8998.

Columbia Basin Trust

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