By Kalinowski, Tim on May 7, 2020.
They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
In that spirit, southwest Alberta has moved a little bit closer to opening a new dedicated trauma and grief aftercare centre for people recovering from drug addiction.
Foundation of Hope founder and president Alvin Mills recently received confirmation that his group’s Kii maa pii pii tsin Renewal and Healing Centre has received official charitable status, and can now begin the process of procuring donations and government grants to raise the necessary funds to eventually build and open the centre.
“Now we can start initiating our own funding,” he explained. “And to prepare, in my organization, we are going to start doing trauma awareness and grief recovery workshops. That’s an issue a lot of people who are struggling with the opioids, a lot of them have unresolved trauma. Grief is huge for many of them, and that keeps them in their addiction.”
Mills said Kii maa pii pii tsin translates as “Kindness to others” in Blackfoot, and he is thrilled with the support he has received from community members and organizations in Lethbridge as well as band councillors and Elders on the Blood Reserve. Getting charitable status is a long ways from having a completed centre, acknowledged Mills, but that dream is now a lot closer to reality than it was just two weeks ago.
“We are also that much closer also to get our grief and trauma recovery program accredited by Accreditations Canada,” he added. “They are really interested in it, and are saying there is a possibility ours could be the pilot project for this type of aftercare program. They like the cultural aspects of the program. But we are going to advocate for and support the at-risk and vulnerable population, regardless of race or colour, everybody needs help.”
Mills is stoked about the future, and his organization is in the process of setting up a website to help begin the fundraising process explaining the Kii maa pii pii tsin Renewal and Healing Centre’s purpose and goals.
“I have a great team on my board, and we are just going to continue this journey together,” said Mills.
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