Civil forfeiture grant goes to Blueberry River healthy relationships project

MLA Pat Pimm says 81 grants were given out in this round, worth just under a million dollars.

"Thank you very much to the criminals who are out there doing bad things," jokes Pimm. "This is legislation that we put in place that actually allows us to take the revenue that we find from folks that are doing these mischievous-type deeds and put them to some actual good, beneficial work around the province."
The funds will be used for a family violence project in the Blueberry River First Nations, expanding on prevention programs already in place. Health Director Roy Guerra Mella explains that they are trying to increase the capacity within the community to deal with violence and domestic violence. 
One of the first steps is establishing a first response team made up of locals. While it could take up to two hours for police or an ambulance to reach the reserve, a team of trained individuals already in the community could respond within minutes. At the heart of the three-year, $100,000 project is helping the community become more self-reliant.
"As First Nations we believe that never mind what people outside of you are doing or how they affect you; it doesn't matter how they treat you, it matters how you treat yourself."
The plan also includes increasing access to support services with more visibility, increasing counselling services, and running programs in schools. Pimm stresses that domestic violence is an issue felt around the province, and applauds people like Guerra Mella who are working to bring attention to it and help to the people.