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Kitimat Council supports Haisla Nation food-share program with $1,000 donation

Kitimat council has approved a motion to donate $1,000 to the Haisla Nation’s new food share program. (File photo)

In gesture of support and camaraderie, the District of Kitimat has pledged a $1,000 donation to the Haisla Nation’s food-share initiative. The motion was brought forward by Councillor Michelle Martins at the regular council meeting on March 25.

Martins highlighted the substantial contributions the Haisla Nation has made to the Tamitik Status of Women’s anti-poverty programs. She pointed out that, although the programs are designed with an Indigenous focus, they have been widely accessed by non-Indigenous community members as well, underlining the broader benefits of such initiatives.

The Haisla Nation’s new program started around October of last year.

“Contributing to this program, especially since it is the first year they’re implementing it, is not only a sign of camaraderie between the two governments, but an effort toward reconciliation,” Martins said. “I feel this will help us strengthen our relationship with the Haisla Nation, and show that we are mindful of using an Indigenous-focused lens with social issues, in particular, where Indigenous people are disproportionately affected.”

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The Haisla Nation’s food share is part of the broader Haisla Emergency Resources Support program, aimed at aiding Haisla members and their spouses residing in Kitamaat Village and Kitimat. The initiative, which operates bi-monthly, offers food staples alongside cleaning supplies and hygiene products. More recently it also started offering fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as a limited range of refrigerated items. Because the program does not accept food donations, it is reliant on financial contributions.

Support for Martins’ motion was echoed by Councillor Gerry Leibel, who emphasized the growing importance of food-share programs across all community sectors, especially among seniors. “In my experience working in housing, I can’t tell you how increasingly important the food-share programs are becoming as the economy bites down,” Leibel said, “This is a good gesture from our side, to help them as they’ve helped us.”

The motion was passed unanimously.

About the Author: Quinn Bender

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