White Buffalo Aboriginal and Metis Health Society has been in operation since June 2003.
How it started: It was identified by Aboriginal women that the community did not demonstrate services that met the needs to support and heal Aboriginal Women, thus White Buffalo Aboriginal Women's Society and Resource Center was developed from those conversations and further visioning between Urban Aboriginal and Metis leaders who took the next step in developing the society name and searching funding sources to support and meet the needs of Aboriginal Women in Kamloops
White Buffalo's conception arrived out of a 2002 vision to enhance and improve services for Aboriginal women and began as a gender specific service provider. The agency began its journey of service provision by focusing on gender specific issues and healing strategies for Aboriginal Women. Through the successful visioning to conception of the society; Aboriginal Women were empowered to speak and trust their words would be heard, they asked for improved services; such as what they themselves were receiving through White Buffalo and to ask the society to expand its services to further positively impact children, youth, men, parents and extended families. White Buffalo Women's Society and Resource Center listened and expanded their service delivery scope and title to progress to White Buffalo Aboriginal Health and Resource Society to encompass holistic traditional and western practices in servicing individuals and whole family compositions.
In 2012, the political titles and terms of Aboriginal required a defining of the agency title to ensure that all Aboriginal peoples were identified through inclusion within the title thus bringing our agency name to today's White Buffalo Aboriginal and Metis Health Society where we continue to empower, strengthen, lead and advocate for all individuals, children, adults and families in Kamloops and surrounding area.
White Buffalo Aboriginal and Metis Health Society is a non profit society dedicated to the advancement and promotion of health and social well-being for Urban First Nations, Inuit and Métis (FMI) individuals, families and community; on local, regional and provincial levels.
- Advance First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples as decision makers in their health and social well being.
- Strengthen capacity through program development, direct service delivery and relevant research initiatives.
- Advocate for systematic transformative change to improve the health and social conditions of Metis, First Nations, and Urban peoples.
- Sustain and development meaningful partnerships with other key stakeholders and other relevant parties.
- Take a leadership role in facilitating collaborative approaches for planning, service delivery and evaluation of Urban FMI Health and Social programs and services.
- Build upon the gifts and wisdom of FMI cultures to ensure that they are recognized as valuable, distinctive and beautiful,
- Promote pride in ancestry, history and cultural reclamation.
What we have accomplished in the last 10 years
Current Programs Serving all people in the community of Kamloops and area:
- Gift Givers Family Support Program 2012 - current
- Aboriginal Supported Childcare Development 2006-current
- Aboriginal Infant Development Program 2006 - current
- Primary Health Care 2006 - current
- Aboriginal Child and Youth Mental Wellness Program 2010 - current
- Aboriginal and Community Response Program 2012- current
- Status of Women Project 2012- current
- Gift Givers Addictions and Mental Health Recovery Program 2013 - current
History of Successful Programs and Services:
- Gift Givers Women's Recovery Program - 2003-2010
- VIPER/V2 Project (Youth Exploitation Prevention) - 2004-2008
- Aboriginal Outreach Program - 2006- 2009
- Breakfast Club & Community Health Education - 2004-2008
- Foster Parent Training Conference 2006
- Early Childhood Development Gathering (NVIT) 2007
- Eagle Seekers Project (crystal meth substance use) 2006
- Law Foundation Legal Education Conference 2007
- Best Practices in Mental Health Conference 2008
- Crystal Meth Response Grant Program for Aboriginal Communities known as
- "Eagle Seekers Youth Project" 2006-2007
- (V=Vision; O=Outreach; I=Intervention; C=Compassion; E=Empowerment; S=Services.
- The Voices project provided Mental Health and Addiction Services for Aboriginal Women
- Breast Practices Project 2007 - 2008
- Skills Link Youth Employment Training Projects: 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013.
- Aboriginal Day Celebrations every June 21th: 2009 to current
- Building Aboriginal Youth Resiliency Conference 2010
- Aboriginal Youth Health Empowerment 2010 -2013
- Aboriginal Suicide & Critical Incident Response Team Program 2007-2013