The Stemete7uw’i Friendship Centre is a step closer to finding a new home in 100 Mile House thanks to a grant from the South Cariboo Community Enhancement Foundation.
The foundation announced a $30,000 grant to support the relocation of the friendship centre to a more central location in the district. Stemete7uw’i is currently housed in a small building behind St.Timothy’s Anglican Church on Blackstock Road.
“We are so excited to receive the grant, especially since it will help support us in relocating,” said Selina Perry, president of the Stemete7uw’i board.
“I think it will be really wonderful to support our members by not having to be connected to the church anymore. There are quite a few community members who won’t access the centre because of that affiliation.”
Doug Dent, president of the SCCEF said in a release that the group is proud to help fund the centre’s relocation efforts and encourages other businesses and organizations to also lend a hand.
“We are also humbled to be part of the continuing work of Truth and Reconciliation in our community,” Dent said. “We encourage individuals and businesses in the community to contact the Stemete7uw’i Friendship Centre to discuss how they might contribute funding, supplies and labour to make this project a success.”
Perry said directors and volunteers are still searching for a new location, preferably in downtown 100 Mile House with an on-site kitchen, small office access and large communal space.
“We’re really hoping that the new location will give us an opportunity to provide more cultural programming,” Perry said. “With more space, hopefully we can host more youth programs and serve our community in other ways.”
Despite the limited space at the centre’s current location, Perry said they have been busy the past few months and are thrilled to be starting up some new programs.
One initiative getting underway is Cultural Mondays, where host Murray Casey plans to hold a variety of cultural programs each month, including teaching basic Secwepemctsin.
With a new, larger location, Perry said she hopes the centre can expand to the point of hiring more staff to facilitate the programming.
Anyone in the community who may have a lead on a new, larger space for the centre is encouraged to reach out via email, at email@example.com