NEWS RELEASE · 30th March 2010
MP Nathan Cullen - Ottawa
Five projects in the northwest likely face closure when federal funding for a foundation that assists aboriginal people and communities cope with ongoing residential school trauma expires tomorrow.
That’s unacceptable, says Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen, whose NDP caucus is making a last-minute appeal directly to the Prime Minister to extend funding for the Aboriginal Healing Foundation (AHF).
“Losing AHF funding would be devastating and likely mean the shutdown of over 130 community-based projects in every province and territory in Canada, including five right here in Skeena,” Cullen said from Ottawa this morning.
Five of the 15 BC-based projects under the AHF umbrella are in the Northwest, in Skidegate, Terrace, Kitwanga, Smithers and Fort St. James.
"The AHF has given healing and hope to survivors, their families and their communities for 10 years but the need for healing is not over,” said Manitoba NDP MP Nikki Ashton, who is spearheading a national campaign to save the foundation.
The AHF provides resources to promote reconciliation and encourage and support aboriginal people and their communities in building ongoing healing processes that address the legacy of physical, sexual, mental, cultural, and spiritual abuses in the residential school system, including intergenerational impacts.
“We are asking the federal government to live up to the commitment of the National Residential Schools Apology and continue to fund the necessary work of the AHF,” said Cullen