A new Indigenous healing centre geared toward helping the survivors of residential schools will soon be constructed on leased reserve land near Duncan.
The new approximately $5-million centre is being built by the Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society and will offer programs that are grounded in Indigenous culture and tradition, and focus on healing from the ongoing effects of residential schools.
The TTLL is a fully accredited, registered, non-profit treatment society that has run a treatment centre in Lantzville on land leased from the Nanoose First Nation [Snaw-Naw-As] for decades.
The facility provided programs that address the issues of substance abuse and support survivors of trauma and residential schools.
TTLL board president Daniella Harris-David, stated that Tsow-Tun Le Lum is grateful to the Snaw-Naw-As for having its Helping House on their land for the past 35 years.
“With the help of the ancestors of this land, there has been a lot of healing that has taken place here,” she said.
The lease on its land in Lanztville was coming to an end, so the TTLL signed a 50-year lease for the new centre near Duncan on March 1 with landowner Jason Campbell.
To honour the history of the site, trees cut from the land will be used in the construction and décor in the new building.
“These trees hold good energy and have been here for the last century,” said architect and project manager Paul Blaser, of RBM Architecture.
“It is appropriate for us to use what we can and keep them here on the land.”
Nola Jeffrey, TTLL’s executive director, said the society has heard many times that Tsow-Tun Le Lum programs save lives.
“We are grateful to be relocating on this land so we can continue helping our people,” she said.
The TTLL is currently fundraising for their new centre.
A GoFundMe campaign, at https://ca.gofundme.com/f/support-for-residential-school-survivors, and an email to accept Interact e-transfers, at firstname.lastname@example.org, have been set up to accept donations to the centre.
“Your donations will ensure we can continue to offer our programs and support to Indigenous people who have suffered the long-term effects of Canada’s residential schools,” said the TTLL website.