Submitted by Luciane De Souza

Foundary East Kootenay communications

On Thursday, May 23 we had the grand opening for Foundry East Kootenay, the first Foundry centre built from the ground up. 

It’s also the first Indigenous-led Foundry in B.C., operated by the Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Service Society (KKCFSS).

Grounded in Indigenous values, the building received the name t’ikxawicikimik, which means “for all things to be connected.” 

The youth advisory helped design a friendly and welcoming space for Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people between the ages of 12 and 24.

Foundry East Kootenay offers mental health and addiction support, physical and sexual health care, peer support, and social services to youth, their families and caregivers in Invermere, Cranbrook, Fernie, Creston, Golden, and surrounding areas. 

The Foundry BC app platform allows young people to book in-person and virtual service appointments.

Being the first of its kind, it was a big celebration welcoming the community to join for tours around the centre and to learn about the services offered. 

The ceremony had an opening drum with Sukniy Singers, followed by a welcome prayer from Laura Birdstone, opening remarks from Nasu?kin Jason Louie, and remarks by youth advisor Isabella Willoughby, Toni Carlton and Julie Zimmerman from Foundry central office. 

Services and partnerships were announced by Amy Reid, remarks from Colin Sinclair, CEO of KKCFSS, and last but not least, a ribbon cutting by Calvin Domin (who started the fundraising campaign).