History

In the late 1980s, the elders and leaders of the newly formed Carrier Sekani Tribal Council were worried about their communities. Young people were committing suicide at astounding rates, communities lacked health care services and poverty was rampant. Communities lived in constant fear of their children being taken from their homes.  The loss of cultural teachings, and the breakdown of entire families were starkly apparent. These elected chiefs promised their people they would take care of them, and ensure their well-being. They knew it was time to begin on a new path – one that would lead their member nations to a better place and a healthy solid future.

The tribal council took their first step on by finding eight people to work with Carrier families.  Of course, eight people weren't nearly enough for a nation of 10,000 but this first step was a step in the right direction.  Not long after, the elders and chiefs added more nurses and social workers to the organization – and by 1990, they started a non-profit society that eventually grew into Carrier Sekani Family Services. Since our beginning, we at Carrier Sekani Family Services have worked towards the day when we can take responsibility for all the health and social services BC currently provides for Carrier and Sekani people.  We have worked hard to create our very own health and social services programs, built on Carrier wisdom and culture as well as empirically evidenced best practices.

In the mid-1990s, we worked with the Ministry of Child & Family Development (MCFD) to gain more control over the aboriginal children in their care.  As a result, we are now a Level C4 Child Welfare Agency.  This means that Carrier children can now stay connected to their communities and live in aboriginal foster homes.

In the late 2000s, we worked with the Ministry again.  This time, it was to prepare for the day when all Carrier and Sekani children will be under our protection, not the Ministry's.  This is a long legal process and we are finally seeing results.  We have now created a plan for how to build the best child welfare program possible, with plenty of advice from parents, elders, and youth. We are now advocating for funding to implement this very important child protection program.

In 2002 CSFS saw a need to have more culturally relevant dispute resolution services available to the Carrier People. At the time there was only one practicing First Nations mediator working in the Child Welfare area to provide this service to the entire Northern Region of British Columbia. CSFS worked closely with the University of Northern British Columbia, to develop curriculum and completed the training for 19 First Nations Mediators in 2005.

In 2005, we became one of the first aboriginal organizations to take direct responsibility for research on our people.  We now make sure that all of the research done in our First Nations communities actually meets their needs!

In August 2014 the First Nations Health Authority completed their negotiations and fully opened their doors in September. With funding from the new Health Authority, CSFS was able to expand our Primary Care Services to include four physicians and support staff to offer physician services in our Member Nations.

In 2015 CSFS celebrated our 25-year anniversary of providing holistic health, research, legal, and family services. To celebrate we held a weeklong holistic wellness conference, AGA and art gala. As part of the festivities, we developed a commemorative booklet outlining the work we have completed over the years. To learn more about the history of Carrier Sekani Family Services, and see some great historical photos, download our booklet below!


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Last modified: Sunday 01-May-16 15:15:05 PDT