Ehattesaht declares state of emergency as young people continue to die from drug addiction

The past year has been a devastating one as the Ehattesaht/Chinehkint community buried six of its young adults in separate incidents – losses resulting from substance addictions.

Chief Councillor Simon John said the Ehattesaht First Nation has declared a state of emergency hoping to catch the attention of government.

“We are in a state of crisis, our youth are dying – six of them in about a year,” said John.

Tla-o-qui-aht brings wellness centre to Ty-Histanis

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation is breathing life back into trailers used in Ahousaht to create a new wellness center at their Ty-Histanis reservation.

Five trailers that served as bunkhouses for crew members working on Ahousaht’s wastewater treatment plant are being moved out of the Flores Island community. Tla-o-qui-aht purchased the trailers from the contractor that built Ahousaht’s wastewater treatment plant.

Well-known healing centre moves to Cowichan Valley in 2023

It has served thousands of people on their healing journeys since opening its doors in June 1988 at its home in Nanoose, and now, Tsow-Tun Le Lum is spreading its wings with a move to brand-new facility in Duncan, BC.

Tsow-Tun Le Lum, which means Helping House, is a fully accredited, registered, non-profit treatment society. But Executive Director Nola Jeffrey prefers to call it a healing house, because they offer holistic and cultural supports for people, not only in addictions, but also for survivors of trauma.

People displaced after supportive housing funding gets axed

A supportive housing facility in Port Alberni for individuals experiencing substance use issues has had to close its doors after Island Health chose not to renew a contract with the service provider.

The New Leaf opened 12 recovery beds in the community in 2015 for people working towards recovery from substance use. Island Health funded six of those beds until they recently chose not to renew the contract with New Leaf owner Lisa George.

George said five people were displaced following the facility’s closure and seven staff members were let go.  

‘Recovery can happen’, says lifelong advocate for addictions support

Barney Williams is the recipient of the 2022 Courage To Come Back Awards’ addictions category.

Over the past 24 years, the awards have recognized 139 individuals and raised over $20 million for Coast Mental Health to support those living with mental illness. 

“It’s awesome,” Williams said enthusiastically. “It really speaks to the work that I’ve done in sobriety.”

As a six-year-old boy, Williams was forced from his home in Opitsaht, on Meares Island, and sent to Christie Residential School. 

Children as young as 12 are being sold bootleg vodka, says Ahousaht couple

Qaamina and Ruth Sam are demanding that vodka be banned from the village, following disturbing incidents of pre-teens being found extremely intoxicated and the death of a young family member due to alcohol-related liver damage.

Two days before she died in 2020, Helen Frank, a young mother, called her aunt Ruth, asking them to keep working hard to ban “red cap” from the village. Not knowing what she meant, Ruth later learned that red cap meant a popular brand of vodka that comes in a bottle with a red lid.

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