On August 4th, Kw’umut Lelum will be opening the doors of its newest location in Duncan. The site marks a new chapter in the organization’s 23-year history of offering culturally-integrated services to Indigenous families in mid-Vancouver Island.
The building, at 151 4th Street in Duncan, will house a team of Social Workers, Family Support Workers and wellness staff and will act as a service hub for member Nation families living in Duncan, as well as those living in community in Malahat, Halalt, Penelakut, Ts’uubaa-asatx (Lake Cowichan) and Stz’uminus.
“This expansion is about more than just providing needed services to Aboriginal families” says Executive Director William Yoachim. “This is about returning the rights to Indigenous communities to be able to care for their own children.”
Kw’umut Lelum offers services rooted in traditional Coast Salish teachings including child safety and family support, cultural programming, mental health, wellness and recreation services, and caregiving supports. Originally mandated to provide services only to people living in the communities (“on-reserve”) of our member Nations, the Agency has been expanding its jurisdiction since 2018 when it opened its first urban office in Nanaimo. Beginning this fall, 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 – this includes any open child services files for children in or out of care, family services files, and any open incidents or investigations. Any new services required (child safety, family support services, etc) by Member Nation families living in Duncan will be referred to Kw’umut Lelum, not MCFD.
With three different child and family service organizations (including MCFD and Lalum’utul’ Smun’eem - LS) operating in the Duncan area and servicing Indigenous people, there was some concern about confusion over which agency a family might call or be referred to. Cowichan families will continue to be referred to LS, 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.” says Yoachim, “There is no wrong door to the right service”.
ABOUT KW’UMUT LELUM
Kw’umut Lelum is a Delegated Aboriginal Agency delivering a full range of coordinated, culturally informed child safety and family wellness services to address the unique needs of Aboriginal families and communities. Our approach is informed and guided by Coast Salish values and uses collaborative family circles to engage the whole community in supporting families and keeping children out of care.
Our Member Nations include: Halalt, Lyackson, Malahat, Penelakut, Qualicum, Snaw-Naw-As, Snuneymuxw and Stz'uminus and Ts’uubaa-asatx.
For more information contact:
Communications and Information Officer