Our Herstory

1987-1989

  • Local committee forms with Smithers Community Services Association (SCSA). Government approached for funding Transition House services.
  • SCSA is approved for funding in September 1989 to provide 24-hour service for women and children fleeing abuse. Annual contract is $137,800.
  • Six staff are recruited and trained. Staff help clean and set up the house.
  • Passage Transition House opens its doors on December 1, 1989 at the old Nurses Residence. The first client arrives the evening of December 1st.

1990-1993

  • Passage House gets funding from Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) for a face-lift.
  • Major renovations include adding a kitchen, replacing old windows and doors, new roof, new flooring installing fire escape and adding a bathroom and bedroom for handicapped access.
  • In November of 1991 the Ministry of Social Services allocates funding to Transition Houses across the province for Child Support. Passage House hires a childcare advocate in January 1992.
  • In 1991 Passage House hosts a Family Violence Conference. Minister Penny Priddy is the guest speaker.
  • The province recognizes the significance of children exposed to domestic violence and funding is introduced.
  • Passage House creates a Children Who Witness Abuse Program (CWWA) and hires staff to run groups for children.
  • Ongoing discussion takes place between Passage House committee members and the board of SCSA to form a separate society that would specifically focus on issues of violence and abuse. The committee asks SCSA to transfer the related contracts to a new board.
  • In April of 1992 the Domestic Peace Project for men is developed to meet the needs of women wanting help for their partners. Funding is obtained from the Ministry of Attorney General and the Ministry of Social Services to provide a holistic group program for men, women and their children. The Domestic Peace Project is one of the first in the province to work with the entire family simultaneously.
  • Second Stage Housing is proposed and funding is obtained from CMHC to build Sherielle Manors. The two duplexes have 4 independent living units for women and their children. Sherielle is dedicated to Sheri Motz and Michelle Cummins, two young women who lost their lives in violent relationships.
  • On February 02, 1993, the Northern Society for Domestic Peace (NSDP) is formally incorporated. NSDP takes over the land lease and mortgage of Passage House and the associated support contracts from SCSA.
  • In January of 1993, a time when Smithers was reporting the highest rate of child sexual abuse in the province, a local physician and members from the child and youth committee approach NSDP to provide services to children who have experienced sexual abuse. A proposal is developed and in April funding for the Sexual Abuse Intervention Program (SAIP) is obtained from the Ministry of Health.
  • The police based and community based Victims Assistance program struggle with the existing referral process; NSDP is approached to consider bidding on the programs. In the fall of 1992, NSDP takes responsibility to provide Victims Services in the community.
  • In July 1993 NSDP opens offices at 1126 Main Street.
  • Working with local probation and legal services staff, NSDP begins the development of a sex offender relapse prevention program. The services are contracted with the Ministry of Health to provide support and monitoring to people convicted of sexual offences. The Prince George Forensic Services manage the contract and are to assess and consult on all referrals to the program. Staff and the board of directors later identify problems with the program format and feel the contract was too great a risk for the agency. The contract is terminated in 1994.
  • In April of 1993 Sexual Assault Centre Services are proposed and funding is obtained.
  • In December 1993 NSDP hosts a conference in our community on Responding to the Defensive Themes of Assaultive Men presented by Dale Trimble.

1994-1997

  • April 1994 NSDP hosts a conference on sexually intrusive children. Presenters from Act 2 (Maple Ridge, BC) Sexual Health in Family Treatment (SHIFT) Program addressed issues and options for children 11 years of age and under who exhibit intrusive, inappropriate sexual behaviour such as preoccupation, coercion, aggression, or sexual acting out. 
  • In July 1995 NSDP moves its office from Main Street to 3772 First Avenue.
  • April 23-29, 1995 the province declares the first annual Prevention of Violence against Women Week.
  • NSDP involves community youth in conducting a “Safety Audit”.
  • In the spring of 1996 staff of the Domestic Peace Project are contracted to deliver workshops in Terrace on how to develop coordinated services and why it is important to addressing the  safety of women experiencing abuse and end violence in relationships.
  • March 1997 NSDP hosts an Art Show "Why Don't they Just leave" with renowned Victoria BC artist Anne Popperwell.

1998-2000

  • NSDP is contracted to explore isolation and transportation as it relates to women in the Smithers area. Stephanie Capyk is hired as researcher to speak to women in Smithers, Moricetown and Telkwa who hitch hike or have barriers to transportation. A committee is formed from this work and a youth transit system is proposed, Smithers Community Services takes a lead in developing more community transportation.
  • In early 1998 NSDP and Smithers Community Services work together to provide youth services in "The Zone" youth resource centre. In March of 1998 HRDC contracts NSDP for a 2-year period to provide counselling services to youth who are dealing with employment issues. In February 1999 both societies experience difficulties with the HRDC contracts. The agreements with HRDC are prematurely terminated as of April 1999.
  • NSDP receives small amount of funding to coordinate a Community Response Network to address adults affected by the adult guardianship legislation.
  • 1999 in line with revisions to the Provinces’ Violence against Women in Intimate Relationship Policy, NSDP forms/chairs a local “VAWIR”committee to understand the justice response/policy and to monitor local experiences of violence against women.  Later referred to as the Community Coordination for Women’s Safety, the committee is still lead by NSDP staff and attended by justice and community social service providers (2015). 
  • In 2000 NSDP receives a small grant to deliver "Beauty from the Inside Out" presentations to Grade 7 & 8 girls.
  • In 2000 NSDP staff is officially scheduled as part of the senior high school curriculum on issues related to violence and abuse.
  • In 2000 NSDP sends a staff to present our Community Response Network model (a rural perspective on elder abuse) at an international conference on family violence in Cyprus Greece.
  • In April of 2000 NSDP secures funding from the federal government to develop crime prevention strategies for youth in the community.
  • In 2000 NSDP completes a formal master strategic plan.
  • In 2000 NSDP staff delivered filial training to the provincial teachers’ federation at its Vancouver conference.

2001- 2004

  • In 2001 NSDP hosts a workshop on disordered eating with presentations by Sandra Friedman. We also host the "House of Mirrors" art installation on women in the media and positive self body image.
  • In 2001 NSDP hosts The Vagina Monologues at Driftwood Hall which is performed by local women.
  • In 2002 NSDP receives funding to provide the Pregnancy Outreach Program (POP).
  • In 2003 NSDP hosts an eating disordered workshop for physician and health care professionals with presenters from the Prince George Disordered Eating Clinic.
  • In 2003 NSDP co-hosts a presentation by Corporal Scott Rentall on the drug crystal meth.
  • In 2003 NSDP hosts a workshop on elder abuse with presenters Jill Hightower and Greta Smith from BC Society of Transition Houses.
  • In 2003 NSDP hosts a Children Who Witness Abuse focus group with Dr. Sue Penfold from BC Children's Hospital. Dr Penfold is a psychiatrist conducting research regarding the impact on Children with lived experience of domestic violence/abuse and mental health.  
  • In 2004 NSDP hosts a legal service workshop on family law by presenters from the Provincial Legal Services Society.
  • In 2004 NSDP begins work toward buying the office building located on First Avenue - the purchase is finalized in December 2004.
  • Dec 18, 2004 NSDP hosts a reading of The Christmas Carol and raised $1600 for the Specialized Victim Services Program.

2005-2008

  • In 2005 the historic Riverview Psychiatric Hospital (Coquitlam, BC) begins a closure process. Residents of the hospital are relocated across the province to community care facilities; NSDP receives funding from the Public Trustee for 12 individuals transferred to the Bulkley Lodge to receive Caring Companion Services.
  • In 2005 NSDP receives $25,000.00 funding from the Ministry of Public Safety to initiate the development of the Community Domestic Violence Court Response. 5 committee members travel to Whitehorse Yukon to observe the Yukon Model of Domestic Violence Court.
  • June 5, 2006 Passage House is mortgage free!
  • In 2005, Specialized Victims Assistance program partners with Smithers RCMP to develop a Priority Response Program, home alarm system for women at highest risk of domestic violence
  • April 1, 2006 NSDP is successful in obtaining funding to provide Stopping the Violence and Children Who Witness Abuse counselling services in Houston.
  • April 1, 2006 NSDP is successful in obtaining funding to provide Stopping the Violence Outreach services.
  • April 2006-February 2007, NSDP partners with local public health staff and received funding from Status of Women Canada to research local (Bulkley Valley) women’s experience of accessing health care in rural BC, and to develop community based support networks and to incorporate the research in local health planning. Bobbie Adkins coordinated the project with the support of a local community committee and spoke to women, community health care providers and identified gaps and common experiences to make recommendations to the regional health authorities.
  • In 2007, NSDP Specialized Victims Assistance and RCMP Based Victim Assistance Programs develop and sign off Varying Conditions protocol. Revised 2009, revised 2015.
  • March 2007 NSDP takes on the Strengthening Families program. A Strength based skill development group program for families. The objective of the program is to provide training and coordination support to existing community coalitions’ in the successful planning and implementation of the program to reduce environmental risk factors for children.
  • April 2008, the Ministry of Children and Family Development contract NSDP, Passage House program to provide foster parent support and shelter service for up to two  “Level Three” youth in care. 
  • October 14 & 15th 2008 NSDP hosted “Breakfast with Champions” with internationally renowned educator author and film maker Jackson Katz. Jackson featured his educational video Tough Guise and spoke at a public forum at the local high school and to grade 11 & 12 students from Smithers, Houston and Hazelton; he then challenged community leaders at a breakfast event at the Hudson Bay Lodge. “We are challenging all men and boys to take a stand against gender based violence”.

2009-2012

  • January 2009, NSDP Specialized and Police Based Victim Assistance programs develop and sign off the Smithers Sexual Assault Protocol and Third Party Reporting protocols.
  • 2009 Passage House Celebrates its 20th year. Rough statistics report 5314 individuals accessed the shelter over the 20 years. NSDP hosted an Art event at the Smithers Art Gallery in honour of the women and children who have accessed the shelter.
  • February 2009, Sherielle Manors (Second Stage Housing) is Mortgage Free!
  • March 10-13 2009, NSDP hosted a four day workshop on Multi-Disciplinary Sexual Assault Interview training for RCMP, Victim Services and Child Protection workers, with presenters  Dr. John Yuille, Cpl Sabrina Mill, Wendy Van Tongeren Harvey.
  • March 23 & 24 2009, NSDP hosted a Trauma Informed Practices Training presented by Stephanie Capyk from the Victoria Women’s Sexual Assault Centre.  NSDP staff, Child Protection workers, Child & Youth Mental Health and other social service agencies attended the training event.
  • May 2009, NSDP and the BVLD Domestic Violence Court Response Committee co-hosted Be Safer Training with Dr Stephen Hart. Regional RCMP, Mental Health, Probation, Victim Services and Child protection workers attended.
  • March 2010, NSDP hosted a two day workshop with Dr Sandra Wieland, a registered clinical psychologist and play therapist who spoke to local counselors on Childhood Trauma and Dissociation.
  • In the spring of 2010, Specialized and Police Based Victim Service staff completed the Red Light Green Light Project, which is an information sharing reference tool for both public services employees and private services. It summarizes privacy legislations, and when agencies can/not share client information. 
  • 2010 Specialized and Police Based Victim Service Staff initiated a Testimonial Aids project for the Smithers Court House. From donations and a grant from the BV Credit Union staff was able to purchase technological aids including: microphones for witnesses, closed circuit TV’s for victims, silent courtroom keyboards, camcorder and tripod and comfortable furniture for the witness waiting room.
  • June 2010, 30 Old growth trees are taken down at Passage House and extensive landscaping begins. Passage house receives help with an Adopt a Tree campaign where community members can donate toward the purchase of tree to be planted in the new garden in honour of a family member or friend who had experienced violence/abuse or demonstrated an interest/role in ending violence in relationships.
  • September 2010, NSDP’s role in the Bulkley Valley Domestic Violence Court Option came to an end with the completion and submission of a proposal to the Ministry of Justice to fund a pilot court response in Smithers.
  • November 2010, in honor of the White Ribbon Campaign (men ending men’s violence against women) NSDP hosted its first and most fun, and successful Mz Judged pageant. 19 brave contestants performed above and beyond any expectations rising over $25,000.00 to fund voluntary men’s services.
  • March 2011, Ending Abuse Association subcontracts NSDP to gather information relevant to enhancing aboriginal women’s safety in the Northwest. Staff from NSDP speaks to women across our region to look at barriers to safety and identify community’s willingness to engage in learning more about existing violence and supporting women in their communities.
  • July 2011 NSDP took on the role of administering/coordinating the Bulkley Valley Critical Incident Stress Management Program, which connects trained volunteers to individuals/groups in the area who are struggling or may suffer psychological or emotional distress following a critical incident.
  • November 21 -23 2011, NSDP and Make Children First hosted an Introduction to Theraplay /Filial Therapy Training workshop with Lorie Walton and Lisa Wippich Tobin.
  • April 2012, NSDP continues to partner with EVA BC on the Enhancing Aboriginal Women’s Safety   providing knowledge sharing to Aboriginal leadership (including governance leadership, service providers and the natural leadership) in Aboriginal communities related to criminal justice, family justice and child protection laws, policies and practices that directly affect police and government responses to domestic and sexual violence, child abuse and neglect. The purpose of the project is to empower Aboriginal service providers to assist Aboriginal communities – and especially women and children – to become safer, to be aware of their legal rights, to understand the lethal risk factors and to access services and the justice system if they become victimized.  And to also work to foster connections and relations between Aboriginal leadership and service providers with anti-violence service providers in the regions. NSDP staff and EVA staff teamed up and provided training in Houston, and the Hazelton’s.
  • April 2012, WCG (Work BC) contracts with NSDP to provide STV services to women with employment barriers.
  • April 2012, Human Resources Development Canada awards NSDP with a 61,000.00 grant to do local research around the issue of women leaving abuse and homelessness. NSDP partnered with BC housing on the project and welcomed Wet’suwet’en born researcher Molly Wickham who examined factors influencing rural women, with a focus on Indigenous women, who stay in or leave their communities when fleeing violence and facing homelessness and the supports they require. “Critical Choices”: Rural Women, Violence and Homelessness was completed early in 2013 and can be proudly found on the NSDP website.
  • April 2012, NSDP RCMP Victim Assistance program hosts a two day collaboration conference in Smithers for first responders who are called upon to respond to a missing person in the Northwest. Presentations came from the Missing Persons Unit of BC Major Crimes, BC Police Victim Services, Search and Rescue, Conservation, Department of Fisheries, and the Coroner’s Office, as well as a father whose son was lost while mountain climbing in Kitimat. Over 40 people attended from our region and were very thankful for the opportunity to connect. Funding for the collaboration was received from the Department of Justice.
  • June 2012 NSDP receives a small grant from the United Way to establish a Community Coordination for Seniors Safety Committee. NSDP staff complete training with the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy in Vancouver and gave three presentations to the newly formed committee on Power of Attorney and joint accounts; Fraud, Scams and Telemarketing; and Building Community Connections. The goal of the committee is to support and educate individuals and service providers to network around the needs of seniors in our community and identify ways to better meet those needs.
  • July 2012, NSDP receives an additional small grant from the BC Association of Community Response Networks to reestablish the Community Response Network. Connections and members from the local Community Coordination for Seniors Safety Committee will be involved in the reestablishment of the formal network.
  • August 2012, NSDP received a small grant from the Wetzin’kwa Community Forest Corporation and the Bulkley Valley Credit Union to support Tamara Macleod facilitate a Wellness Project for Moms the project successfully provided community education about Perinatal Depression and support for families.
  • September 2012, NSDP revives the Domestic Peace Program counselling support for men who identify using violence/abuse in their intimate relationships and hires Susanne Urban to develop a responsive approach for voluntary or court mandated men.
  • November 2012, NSDP hosted its second Mz Judged event. To a sold out crowd of supporters, the event was a great success, contestants alone raised a phenomenal amount of funds over $45,000.00. Funds from the event are directly applied to the Domestic Peace Program. 
  • December 2012, NSDP purchases the 5 parking covenants restricting the development or sale of the First Ave building parking lot.

2013-2015

  • January 2013, NSDP took on an interim contract to administer Community Based Victim Services in New Hazelton, and was awarded a continuing agreement in April 2014 to continue delivering the services.
  • August 2013 NSDP receives $16,500.00 funding from the Canadian Women’s Foundation to administer “Loans for Life”, financial assistance for women fleeing abuse, or in need of crisis funds. 
  • September 2014, NSDP (Houston office) Stopping the Violence Program organized the community’s first Murdered and Missing Women March.
  • October 2014, NSDP is successful in its bid to purchase a 15 passenger van from Smithers Community Services Association.  Programs can now offer transportation to victims of violence/abuse to access services.
  • 2014, NSDP Specialized Victim Assistance staff and RCMP review the existing Priority Response Program (home based alarm system) for highest risk women and replace with an enhanced 911 response. 
  • September 2014, NSDP contracts with instructor Shirley Turcotte and the Justice Institute of BC to deliver the Aboriginal Focusing-Oriented Therapy and Complex Trauma Certificate Program.  Eleven NSDP staff registers and complete the year and a half long program. This is a comprehensive interactive program that incorporates classroom instruction, clinical practice and clinical supervision applying various aboriginal Indigenous treatment modalities including experiential exercises, storytelling, ceremonial processes and land-based healing techniques.
  • November 2014, NSDP hosts Third Mz Judged event, the sold out event raised $61,000.00 to cover expenses and to go directly to the delivery of the Domestic Peace Project.
  • April 2015, Smithers forms local Interagency Case Assessment Team (ICAT).  ICATs are partnership groups which include criminal justice, child welfare, health and antiviolence workers with a goal of keeping domestic violence victims and their children safer. This goal is achieved by legally and ethically sharing risk related information and building a safety net for victims, their children and the community and initiating interventions and monitoring of suspects. NSDP staff participates in regional training event and take part in local ICAT teams in Smithers and Hazelton.
  • April 2015, BC Housing provides one-time $10,000 grant to Passage House to enhance access to the shelter and support services.
  • April 2015, NSDP Smithers Pregnancy Outreach program takes on the coordination of the North Community Birth Program, prenatal education and support. Receives a $5,000 grant from Wetzinkwa Community Foundation to support coordination activities.
  • June 2015, Passage House is successful in obtaining a $10,086 grant from BC Housing to replace flooring in the shelter.
 

Photos


Our Herstory