Increase the availability, accessibility and the continuum of Indigenous-led and community-based social services and supports that are trauma-informed, culturally safe and relevant, and address a range of holistic wellness needs for those who are in crisis, at-risk or have experienced violence, trauma and/or significant loss.

Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions

Year started


Current year


How far along
is this work?


How complicated
is this work?


Are there


How are we
working together?


A wide variety of innovative and meaningful partnerships, programs and initiatives that are underway or have been completed are contributing to the advancement of this action. The following examples demonstrate progress made during the 2023/24 reporting year. 

The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General (PSSG) procured 70 new sexual assault services programs across B.C., 18 of which are Indigenous-focused. PSSG also procured five sexual assault centres located in Victoria, Vancouver, Surrey, Kamloops and Prince George, which provide wraparound services to survivors of sexual assault, including trauma-informed spaces for police interviews and medical forensic examinations, among other available services, if the survivor chooses them. The new programs and centres are survivor-centred, trauma-informed, inclusive and culturally safe.    

With funding from Women and Gender Equality Canada, PSSG is enhancing the Indian Residential School Survivor Society’s existing crisis line, which provides support to Indian residential school survivors and intergenerational survivors, as well as support for families impacted by missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The crisis line is being enhanced to provide province-wide and specialized gender-based violence response including risk assessment and immediate safety planning and addressing the unique needs of Indigenous survivors of gender-based violence.

A traditional Indigenous games curriculum was developed by a contracted service provider in collaboration with community Elders. This project was funded by PSSG and piloted in interior region First Nation communities and schools to help communities explore the relationship between traditional gambling practice, destigmatizing gambling, and integrating wholistic wellness and community connections through play.

The 2023-24 reporting cycle also saw the introduction of three new peer assisted care teams in B.C., and seven new mobile integrated crisis response teams.  These are described in detail in Action 3.11.

Urgent homelessness response planning is complete and services are operating. The regional health authorities continue to engage with First Nation communities and regional partners on specific programs. 

The enhanced health in supportive housing program is in the early stages of planning. The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and Métis Nation BC (MNBC) are engaged to inform implementation and ensure regional programs include appropriate elements to support First Nation and Métis clients. Regional health authorities will be required to incorporate traditional wellness supports into their program designs, in collaboration with First Nation and Métis partners. 

The Ministry of Health is working with the FNHA to develop an implementation plan to deliver traditional wellness supports to First Nations supported rent supplement program clients. This work is being informed by detailed engagement and implementation planning provided by the regional health authorities.

How are we working together?

The broad scope of this action has led to varying approaches to engagement, with the respect and recognition of Indigenous knowledge systems being a key element of all the approaches.

The engagement approaches are largely distinction-based. For example, the Ministry of Health is engaging with the FNHA and MNBC provincial directors of mental health and harm reduction separately to discuss how implementation planning may differ for First Nation and Métis clients on integrated support framework initiatives.

Broad consultation is often required on initiatives within this action, as is the case with First Nations, Métis and urban Indigenous engagement to inform complex care housing (CCH) projects. The Aboriginal Housing Management Association and Ktunaxa Nation are leading CCH projects, and Nuxalk First Nation, Tla’amin Nation, Kekinow Native Housing Society and Lu’ma Native Housing Society have partnered with regional health authorities to co-lead CCH projects. 

Since May 2023, there have been ongoing engagements with First Nations, Métis and urban Indigenous organizations to inform new purpose-built CCH housing units. In addition, the CCH policy advisory committee includes representatives from the FNHA, MNBC and the Aboriginal Housing Management Association. Engagements have taken place with:

  • Organizations that are planning or delivering CCH services; 
  • BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres; 
  • First Nations Housing and Infrastructure Council; 
  • All Nations Outreach Society; 
  • Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre Society;
  • Vancouver Aboriginal Transformative Justice Services Society; 
  • Aboriginal Mother Centre Society; 
  • Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre; 
  • Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee; 
  • Cariboo Friendship Society; 
  • Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness; 
  • Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services; 
  • New Relationship Trust; and
  • Fraser Salish First Nations.

For other initiatives within this action, engagement has been more targeted. For example, PSSG focused their engagement with Indigenous experts on the procurement process for the new sexual assault services programs, and with the Indian Residential School Survivor Society on the expansion of their crisis line.

Are there challenges?

Risks to fully implementing this action include the following:

  • Strategic prioritization within and across the ministries will be required to optimize engagement and implementation capacity for this action;
  • First Nations and Indigenous leadership organizations will need to prioritize and optimize their engagement capacity to partner in moving the action forward;
  • Possible barriers within policy and legislation to advance the innovative approaches required by the action; 
  • Difficulty securing Indigenous service providers for some projects; and
  • The ability to develop meaningful performance indicators in consultation and co-operation with Indigenous partners for the whole of this action, while respecting the diversity of partnerships, programs, and initiatives to advance it.

Staff recruitment continues to be a challenge for all CCH projects. Partners are expanding services as staff are hired and trained and the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions is monitoring risks to implementation and operations.

Online gambling, specifically federally approved single event sports betting, has resulted in an increased risk of gambling harms. GamblingSupportBC, which provides prevention and clinical services to those suffering gambling harms has seen an over 80% increase in referrals in the last three years. Clinical services, including resources available for Indigenous-specific services, may be impacted by this increased demand. Priority deliverables will be to engage with First Nations and Métis Chartered Communities to determine appropriate services and service delivery.