A third party report commissioned by BC Housing has found Indigenous cultural support and safety need to be improved at GoodAcre Place in Smithers.
The report reviewed management practices of Smithers Community Services Association (SCSA) after six Indigenous men who were residing at the supportive housing facility died.
According to a news release, the review was conducted starting in April 2021 after allegations that the deaths were related to inadequate culturally appropriate programming at GoodAcre Place.
It found that SCSA is making efforts to create cultural safety at the facility and that the organization is committed to making further improvements.
Ongoing impacts of systemic racism and colonization on Indigenous Peoples’ health and wellbeing were also highlighted in the report.
The report added that it did not observe direct linkages between the cultural safety practices employed at GoodAcre Place and the deaths.
A total of 31 key recommendations have been identified for BC Housing, Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA) and the Smithers Community Service Association to improve cultural safety, grow the society’s external network, expand access to support services and health care and improve operations.
“BC Housing and AHMA are working with the society to implement all recommendations, which will help provide enhanced cultural safety and improved access to other support services for the clients at Goodacre Place and other supporting housing sites,” the news release said.
It added that the review highlights the importance of BC Housing to improve direction, standards and policies with regards to culturally appropriate programming at supportive housing sites.
The affected parties have a goal of improving and expanding culturally appropriate programming for residents at GoodAcre Place.
A copy of the full report can be found on BC Housing’s website.