Blackfoot Resource Hub: Striving for Peace and Balance.
Written by: Peetah Bastien
Photos by: Peetah Bastien
On November 22nd, 2022 the Blackfoot Resource Hub was introduced to the Indigenous population in Lethbridge. The Hub went to the most vulnerable groups at the Alpha House shelter, ensuring that culturally appropriate programming is accessible to all.
Mary Plume, Manager of the Blackfoot Resource Hub said, “I feel it’s important to meet our future clients where they are at – on this day it was at the Lethbridge Homeless Shelter.”
Hub operations began in February 2022 and will complete Stage 1 this December. The Hub will serve as a centralized access point for Blackfoot resources including permanent supportive housing for the homeless Indigenous population in the city. The Hub will also focus on providing Blackfoot culturally sensitive and understanding paths towards more permanent housing solutions.
“How do we know how to help them if we don’t know what they’re truly going through – we need to see it firsthand”, said Plume, who also holds a Master of Social Work degree who specialized in Indigenous Trauma and Resiliency at the University of Toronto.
The Blackfoot world view emphasizes the interconnectedness of kinship systems and traditional relationships in helping each other, “Blackfoot Resource Hub asked if anyone was interested in helping with care packages for our vulnerable, and Blood Tribe Social Development without hesitation offered to provide a meal,” said Plume, “I’m so thankful for their support and generosity.”
The Hub will also provide services that support the community with traditional Blackfoot knowledge and protocols. Elders with ceremonial knowledge in their programming will provide teachings for our people to reconnect with the Blackfoot ways of knowing.
The Indigenous service provider is a welcome addition in the fight against poverty and addictions and will provide an invaluable service to the Blackfoot people who are working towards a peaceful and balanced life.
Plume added, “This is only the beginning for the Blackfoot Resource Hub; we plan on being there to support our urban community members.”
L to R Mary Plume MSW, (Blackfoot Resource Hub Manager), Cody Fox (BT Department of Health Peer Support Worker, SAGE Clan member), and Melody Little Bear (Blackfoot Resource Hub Cultural Specialist).
Staff of the Blood Tribe Social Development listen to the Kitchen staff morning meeting.
R to L Vivian White Quills, Ritzie Creighton, Scooter Fox, Santana Medicine Crane, Shane Sweet Grass, Arnold Fox (Director BT Social Development).
KFC Meals provided by Blood Tribe Social Development
R to L Ritzie, Vivian, Mary and Cody prepare to bring in the meals provided by Social Development.