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Simpcw First Nation celebrates new family services office in Prince George

The Simpcw First Nation (Simpcw) celebrated the grand opening of its family-focused services office in downtown Prince George on Wednesday morning.
Simpcw Kukpi7 (Chief) George Lampreau said a few words about opening the urban office for family services in Prince George Wednesday morning.

The Simpcw First Nation celebrated the grand opening of its urban family-focused services office in downtown Prince George on Wednesday morning.

Simpcw has partnered with the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) to keep families together through connections to culture, language, families, Simpcw’úl’ecw territory, and utilization of traditional family-centred decision-making for all members across BC.

This is Simpcw’s second urban office opening following the New Westminster office that opened last month.

During the celebrations Lheidli T'enneh Chief Dolleen Logan referred to Simpcw Kukpi7 (Chief) George Lampreau as a trail blazer for making the family services office a reality, as it makes way for the rest of the First Nations of BC to follow suit.

“I am really proud today as our Council fulfills a commitment we made to our Simpcw members over the past two years at our jurisdiction development meetings,” Kukpi7 (Chief) George Lampreau said.

“Our away-from-home members asked for the same family support and cultural services that our people receive in Simpcw on a daily basis. I’m really happy that this agreement, the first in the province’s history, enables us to provide support for our families’ experiencing challenges in the North and Lower Mainland regions.”

Simpcw’s Tcwesétmentem: Walking Together Agreement in the first agreement in MCFD’s history that is legally binding for all social workers across BC, playing a significant role in the urban prevention services agreement becoming a reality.

Simpcw’s comprehensive members’ engagement approach in developing its inherent jurisdiction for child and family services was also a key catalyst for the two-year pilot agreement that will serve as a foundation for Simpcw’s jurisdiction service model.

In addition to supports for Simpcw families, this agreement will also offer new information and insights for MCFD as it co-develops a new funding model to support Indigenous Nations’ jurisdiction over child and family services in BC. Simpcw designates, under confidentiality agreements, are actively supporting MCFD in this funding model development that is expected to be completed in the spring of 2025.

“We worked hard for this day and now our families in need will receive a variety of preventative family supports tailored to their circumstances that can include food, clothing, shelter, transportation, counselling, and assistance navigating the Ministry’s community services sector,” Alison Green, Simpcw Councillor, said.

“Reaching this agreement was not without its challenges, however, as Simpcw has proven many times, we are solution-oriented and we always find a way to get things done. I am proud of the collaborative working relationship we have developed with MCFD as evidenced by this agreement that will help prevent our children from coming into care, and, strengthen our families away from home.”

The Simpcw North Region office is located at 462-1011 Fourth Ave., Prince George.