A Port Hardy-based First Nation’s society hopes to offer easily accessible programs by launching a bus service, which Indigenous persons wanting to go to Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre (SWFC) for programs will primarily use.
During an in-person interview on Thursday, Jan. 17 with SWFC’s Program Director, Tracy Hamilton, she had said that the centre had available, leftover funds to kick-start a pilot project, which could end up improving accessibility for the centre’s programs.
The pilot project, the program director noted, is a way of “responding to the need in the community; expressions from those who access the services that, you know, it’s difficult to get out in the winter,” she explained. “We want to encourage Elders from all of the First Nations communities to attend, that’s a wide geographical area, so it seemed to make more sense to start up the bus, head out, and hit up all the communities.”
Hamilton, who joined SWFC back in September 2018, said that Elders typically have troubles going out to join the centre’s programs during winter months due to the cold, rainy or icy conditions or, for other reasons, they might not always have access to a vehicle or ride during program times.
The program director hopes the new bus service might help those who find it hard to travel to the centre due to a variety of reasons, whether it’s lack of transportation or weather conditions.
The bus service is currently free for those who need transportation to attend any of the centre’s programs, primarily for programs intended for parents with young children or Elders.
Hamilton, who handles staffing and the centre’s programming, said that the pilot project has already launched, but the centre also wants to get the word out for First Nation locals needing transportation to SWFC.
Other programs have also started at the centre, such as the circle of security, girl’s group, regalia-making, youth drop-ins, and programs relating to the annual Tribal Canoe Journeys.