Counselor Terri Reid of the Heiltsuk Nation wears her regalia as she chats with guests during the blessing of the Building Blocks family centre in Port Hardy Tuesday

Building Blocks looks to build community

North Island Building Blocks was officially opened Tuesday, Sept. 9, with a blessing by Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw Chief Willie Walkus.

  • Sep. 24, 2014 7:00 a.m.

PORT HARDY—With new staff and a new name, family support services are once again available in a familiar location on the North Island.

North Island Building Blocks, a family outreach and support program, was officially opened Tuesday, Sept. 9, with a blessing by Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw Chief Willie Walkus. It is located in the office space formerly occupied by Family Place, which closed its doors Mar. 31 when Island Health elected not to renew its contract with the Ministry of Child and Family Development.

“It’s so nice to see the place open again,” said Kate Macpherson, who played with 20-month old son Tony Wilson while waiting for the opening ceremonies. “I kept asking, ‘When is Family Place going to open again?”

Building Blocks will be run by the Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw bands through a new contract with MCFD. It will pick up many of the same programs previously offered by Family Place, including Promising Babies, youth clinic, a parents of young children program and various drop-in and outreach services.

Some Family Place features, including the women’s group and men’s group, are not yet in place at Building Blocks. But program coordinator Michele Dorsey said services are still being developed and evolving.

“We’re starting small, but our services will be driven by the needs of the community,” she said.

To that end, Building Blocks offered a brief survey to those who attended last week’s open house and blessing, asking which previous programs they utilized and which services respondents would like to see implemented.

“It’s going to be fun and exciting,” outreach worker Terri Reid said as she mingled with visitors at the open house. “We’re going to be using a lot of word-of-mouth to encourage young families to check this out.”

Building Blocks opens with a staff of four. In addition to Dorsey and Reid, Natasha Bridger will serve as outreach worker and Marilyn Brotchie as receptionist.

Last week’s open house drew guests from many of the social services agencies with which Building Blocks partners. The blessing was given by Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw Chief Willie Walkus. He was flanked by regalia-clad women of the bands, including Blanche Walkus, Margaret Joe and Donna Williams.

The blessing was followed by lunch and a tour of the facility, which includes consultation rooms, a kitchen and play areas and toys for children.

Though the program is administered by the Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw, it is not restricted to First Nations members.

“We’d like to see ourselves as a hub for North Island families,” said Dorsey. “The biggest thing for us is to advocate for healthy families and strong communities. For that, the community needs to be involved.”

Building Blocks is open Mon.-Fri. from 1-4:30 p.m. each day at 7305-B Market Street in Port Hardy. Stop in for more information on its programs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hardy Bay Seniors’ Centre doubling down to build community during COVID-19

The volunteer-run group is cooking meals and checking in on isolated seniors

Three weekly direct flights from Port Hardy to Vancouver starting June 1

Direct between Bella Bella and Vancouver not resuming at this time

UPDATE: Local taxi company applying to opertate north island bus route

Waivin’ Flags Taxi wants to operate Route 5 between Cambpell River and Port Hardy

Change in service: Port Hardy is switching from bi-weekly garbage pick up to weekly schedule

The cost for the weekly garbage pick up service is an additional $30.12 annually.

Cancelling bus service between Campbell River and Port Hardy will compromise health access, region warns

Mount Waddington Health Network says transportation primary factor for rural health access

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Stepdad able to walk bride down the aisle days before he passes away

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Most Read