Nak’azdli social development department moving to new location

The Nak'azdli social development department is waiting on a duplex house to be delivered and is scheduled to open by the end of September.

A duplex house across from the Nak’azdli Community Wellness Resource Centre will soon house the Nak’azdli social development department allowing the two buildings to work in conjunction with one another. The foundation of the house is seen here on the reserve.

The Nak’azdli band’s social development department is moving to a brand new separate location on the reserve.

Georgina Thomas, Nak’azdli social development administrator, feels the closer location will give residents better access to support.

“It will be closer and more private for people accessing our services,” said Ms. Thomas. “It will also work out having it across from the Community Wellness Resource Centre.”

The Nak’azdli Band’s social development department offers band members a means of income assistance and family care services.

This month, the department is moving from the band office on highway 27 to a duplex house directly across from the Nak’azdli Community Wellness Resource Centre.

The new location’s foundation has already been installed so now the band is just waiting on the house to be delivered. It is scheduled to open by the end of September and will offer all previous services along with some new ones.

Since the Wellness Resource Centre is directly across the road, the plan is for the buildings to work in conjunction with one another. Workers in the new house will take care of the business and finances while the Community Wellness Resource Centre will continue to be a spot for hands-on workshops to take place such as drum making and hide scraping.

Melody Prince, the Community Wellness Resource Centre co-ordinator, organizes workshops and meetings. Ryan Quewezance, the Centre’s hunter/trapper, goes out and collects things for the Centre to work on.

The long-term plan is to have the department work out of the new location while the band office on highway 27 gets expanded over the next couple years. Once all the renovations of the band office are complete, a few walls added to the duplex house will easily turn it into a home for two families, said Ms. Thomas.

“We have such a shortage of housing on the reserve. This is a great opportunity to open up the space, and then once it’s compete, house four families in adequate housing,” said Ms. Thomas.

The band is in the midst of hiring a new family care worker who will start at the new location. The worker will be responsible for advocating on behalf of the ministry for children and family development.

They will also run parenting programs, counseling for couples and families and work with families in general.

The office will also house the resource co-ordinator Alexandra Free, who organizes healing workshops and work opportunity programs. It is her job to find placements for people to gain valued work experience all while recruiting eligible foster parents for children in need. Sharon Aslin is also moving to the new location and takes care of all the income assistance applications and finances.

“[The social development department] either provides the family with service or helps families access them,” said Ms. Thomas. “This will give residents a much closer place to go.”