Kw’umut Lelum to open facility in Duncan

Kw’umut Lelum to open facility in Duncan
Photo submitted to CHEK
On Aug. 4, Kw’umut Lelum will open a facility at 151 4th St. in Duncan. 

A facility providing culturally-integrated services for Indigenous people is set to open in Duncan.

On Aug. 4, Kw’umut Lelum will open a facility at 151 4th St. in Duncan. The facility will be staffed with social and family support workers as well as wellness staff. They will provide a range of services “rooted” in traditional Coast Salish teachings including child safety and family support, cultural programming, mental health, wellness and recreation services, and caregiving supports.

“This expansion is about more than just providing needed services to Aboriginal families” executive director William Yoachim, said in a press release. “This is about returning the rights to Indigenous communities to be able to care for their own children.”

Kw’umut Lelum has a facility in Nanaimo, but says their new facility in Duncan will act as a service hub for member Nation families living in Duncan, as well as those living in Malahat, Halalt, Penelakut, Ts’uubaa-asatx (Lake Cowichan) and Stz’uminus.

Kw’umut Lelum will be providing services for member Nation children and families in the Duncan area that currently have files with the Ministry of Child and Family Services, including any open child services files for children in or out of care, family services files, and any open incidents or investigations. Member Nation families living in Duncan will be referred to Kw’umut Lelum, not MCFD.

There are two other child and family service organizations — MCFD and Lalum’utul’ Smun’eem — operating in the Duncan area that provide service for Indigenous people.

According to Yoachim, there was some concern about possible confusion around which agency a family would need to call or end up being referred to. He said Cowichan families will continue to be referred to Lalum’utul’ Smun’eem, and those with cultural connections to KL Member Nations (Halalt, Lyackson, Malahat, Penelakut, Qualicum, Snaw-Naw-As, Snuneymuxw and Stz’uminus and Ts’uubaa-asatx ) will come to Kw’umut Lelum.

“We are working with these agencies collaboratively to ensure that everyone is able to access the services they need, from the organization who is in the best position to serve them.” Yoachim said, “There is no wrong door to the right service.”

Kw’umut Lelum has been providing services to Indigenous families in mid-Vancouver Island for 23 years.

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