British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS)

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For Immediate Release

On July 14th, 2014, in a special meeting called by the leadership of Community Living British Columbia (CLBC) with the CLBC Aboriginal Advisory Committee, of which BCANDS is a member, it was announced that, effective immediately, CLBC services would now be available to eligible individuals and families residing within First Nation communities (on-reserve) across British Columbia.

This is a major shift in policy for CLBC and BCANDS applauds the new direction and the much needed elimination of this jurisdictional barrier that has restricted access to CLBC services and support to on-reserve First Nation individuals and families living with a developmental disability for many years.

A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document relating to this new direction will be posted on the CLBC website, anticipated for release during  the week August 18th, 2014. Please visit the CLBC website for updates and further information at:

Further information will be posted on the BCANDS website as it becomes available.


BCANDSWho we are:

The British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society, or as more commonly known, BCANDS, is an award winning, provincial, not for profit, charitable Society serving the unique and diverse disability and health resource / support service needs of the Aboriginal population of British Columbia. BCANDS is a “stand alone” organization and the only organization of its type in Canada.

Aboriginal persons in British Columbia and across Canada continue to deal with the generational effects that European contact has had on all aspects of our lives. It is well documented that the health and disability status of Aboriginal people in British Columbia and Canada, is significantly lower than that of our non-Aboriginal population. Many Aboriginal communities are additionally affected by minimal economical and employment opportunities, community remoteness, limited community access to necessary disability, health and social services, their associated professionals, limited community amenities and so forth. Demands and expectations placed on Aboriginal communities and organizational leadership are high from their membership, with their membership identifying multiple priorities within the community or organization, all of which compete for any available financial resources. Understanding this, leadership within Aboriginal communities and organizations across British Columbia are often forced to make difficult decisions in regard to priority programs, services and specific funding allocations made available. Due to these important and ever increasing community and organizational needs, specialized disability and health support services may be minimal with only limited resources available to the membership, leaving the individual, their family and support system(s) at times isolated and frustrated.

BCANDS may be able to help.

BCANDS provides a vast array of services to eligible clients and organizations, both within Aboriginal communities and within British Columbia’s urban and rural centres. If you are an Aboriginal person living with a disability, residing within the province of British Columbia, or an on-reserve organization requiring health information / resources and support services, BCANDS may be able to assist.

Click here to be redirected to our Request for Disability Services Page

Click here to be redirected to our Health Resource / Information and Support Services Centre Page



July 2014

On September 5th, 2014, BCANDS will be receiving the 2014 Deryk Thomson Award from the Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia (SPARC BC). The Deryck Thomson Award was established in 1991 in honour of Deryck Thomson – a strong voice and leader in the social services and one of the founding directors of SPARC BC. Mr. Thomson was not only committed to social justice but showed a tireless commitment to working with people and communities to promote positive change. Each year, in honour of Deryck Thomson and his vision of a just and healthy society for all, the SPARC BC Board of Directors presents an award to an individual or organization who has made a significant contribution to social planning and social justice within British Columbia.

The BCANDS Board of Directors and team are extremely honoured to have the Society and our work recognized by SPARC BC through the Deryk Thomson Award and look forward to the September 5th presentation!!

Thank you SPARC BC!!!!

For more information on SPARC BC and their good work, please click on the their logo below.

spaarc bc


June 2014

On Monday, June 16th, 2014, the B.C. Government hosted a Summit to talk about how we, as a society, can increase accessibility and decrease barriers for people with disabilities in B.C.

The summit brought together the disability community, government and the business sector to present an overview of short-, mid- and long-term strategies to support the goal of B.C. becoming the most progressive place in Canada for people living with disabilities.

Summit invitees included senior officials involved in supporting accessibility, leaders of disability groups who took the time to submit a written submission and key members from local government, First Nations and the business community. In addition, one hundred spots were made available to disability community members through a random selection process administered by the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities.

To ensure all British Columbians have the opportunity to participate, the summit was also webcast province-wide.  

To view the BC Government’s Accessibility 2024 Action Plan released at the Summit, please click on the link below.

Accessibility 2014 – BC Government Release

The Disability Without Poverty Network (DWPN), of which BCANDS is a member, issued a joint media release in relation to the governments Accessibility 2024 Action Plan. To view the DWPN media release, please click on the link below.

Disability Without Poverty Network Media Release


BCANDS Nominated for 2013 Nesika Award

On April 4th, 2014, representatives of BCANDS attended the 5th annual Nesika Awards which were held in Vancouver. BCANDS is very honoured to have been nominated for a Nesika Award and congratulate this year’s recipients and all the other nominee’s.

The Provincial Nesika Awards recognize people, organizations and businesses whose exceptional work helps bring diverse cultures together.

Nesika 3

aaaaa     opem    minidter

For more information on the Nesika Awards pleae visit the Embrace BC Website by clicking on the logo below.



The Society’s Board of Directors hosted their annual General Meeting at the Society’s main office on March 24th, 2014. The AGM was a great success seeing two new Directors elected to the Board, Ms. Lisa Isaac of Victoria and Mr. Ray McGuire of Nanaimo. Both Lisa’s and Ray’s Bio’s can be seen under “Governance” on this site as well as the annual report which is located under “BCANDS Documents”. The Board of Directors and BCANDS Team members would like to thank all who attended and those who stayed to enjoy refreshments after the meeting.

100_0089            100_0088


2014 Winter Challenge!

anna water  water 1

Challenged by the Sumas First Nation and the Ministry of Children and Family Development, members of the BCANDS team, family and Board of Directors braved shark infested, artic waters and fullfilled the 2014 Winter Challenge!

The full video of the BCANDS 2014 Challenge can be seen on the BCANDS Facebook page by clinking the link below.

BCANDS 2014 Winter Challenge ____________________________________________________________________

Provincial Disability Consultation Closes – March 11th, 2014

On December 3, 2014, British Columbians were invited by the provincial government to share their thoughts about how government, businesses and communities could better support persons living with a disability to fully participate in our communities. The consultation ended March 11th, 2014 seeing the consultation website receiving 27,965 visits and over 1,100 on-line comments  At the 23 in-person community consultations in 15 communities across BC, 1,149 individuals participated, with over 400 additional submissions including emails, phone messages and mail received by government.

BCANDS staff played an active role in the consultation process including contributing on-line, meeting with the Minister’s Council on Employment and   Accessibility, attending and facilitating at the community consultation meetings and supporting the submitted recommendation of the Disability Without Poverty Network (DWPN) to government , which included recommendation ensuring that disability related supports and services were available and equitable within BC’s First  Nation communities.

Click the following link (below) to view the DWPN submitted recommendations.

Comments and ideas will now inform the develop of a document that will reflect the voices of British Columbians and form the foundation of a Summit to be held in June 2014 on the issues facing people with disabilities in British Columbia. The Summit will bring together leaders within the disability community, government and the business community to discuss how ideas and actions can be developed and implemented in communities, workplaces and across government.

For more information on the consultation and upcoming Summit please visit:


Disability Without Poverty Network (DWPN) Report / Recommendations

The Disability Without Poverty Network is a working partnership between six organizations, of which BCANDS is one, which works toward positive change for persons living with disabilities within British Columbia, with a focus on those who are living in poverty. Please click on the link below to review the recommendations made by the Network to the Government of British Columbia through the recent Disability Consultation process.

Disability Without Poverty Submission to Government


BCANDS radio interviews with Cameron Wells on CJAM (Handi-link). CJAM is an Ontario based radio station that focuses on disability issues. Click on the links below to be redirected to the CJAM / BCANDS recording.

BCANDS CJAM  Interview # 1

BCANDS CJAM Interview # 2


February, 2014

Mr. Frazer SmithLong time BCANDS Board Member and supporter, Mr. Frazer Smith announced his retirement from the Board of Directors earlier this month and we wish him much success, health and happiness and thank him sincerely for his many years of service to the Society!.  Frazer will continue to remain active within the Tsartlip Nation though continuing to volunteer with both the Nation’s Men’s Group and Elder’s programs. Huy tseep q’u Frazer!


BCANDS and Vancouver Island First Nation’s – National Visitability Project

BCANDS,  the Esquimalt Nation, the Tsartlip First Nation and the Beecher Bay (Sc’ianew) First Nation are involved in a national Visistability Project being conducted by the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies.

For more information on the project please visit:


   Metis nation

Métis Federation of Canada  

The Métis Federation of Canada launched their new website with their Registrar’s Office open for membership. 

Canada’s Métis are mixed blood people who have their own language, flag, songs and stories and who enjoy exciting traditions and a proud history.

For more information on the Métis or to register for membership, please visit the Federations website at


United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) – News Release

Click for full UN News Release – “Breaking down barriers for persons with disabilities”

Many of the world’s one billion persons living with a disability remain excluded from development in areas such as education, employment and healthcare. As a result, they experience higher rates of poverty and unemployment, and lower life-expectancy than the general population.

Disability remained invisible

Despite the support of the Convention, disability has remained largely invisible in most mainstream development agenda and processes. Even if the commitment to development includes people with disabilities, a considerable gap remains between the commitment and what happens on the ground. The international community as well as individual governments are committed to achieve development goals for all, but a perspective of disability and concerns of persons with disabilities were too often absent in development frameworks and processes.

Without taking actions such as allocating resources, developing disability-inclusive policies and programmes, as well as monitoring and evaluating progress, disability will be left out of development.


British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) recipient of the 2013 British Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division’s Dr. Nancy Hall Public Policy Leadership Award


It is with great pleasure that the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability   Society (BCANDS) announces that the Society has been selected as a recipient for the 2013 – Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – BC Division’s Annual Dr. Nancy Hall Public Policy and Leadership Award. The Dr. Hall award is the highest honour that the CMHA bestows on an organization or individual within British Columbia. BCANDS received the award on September 20th, 2013.

The CMHA’s Dr. Hall Award  recognizes an individual or group in BC that has influenced mental health policy and contributed to positive mental health.

BCANDS is sincerely grateful for this honour and thanks the CMHA selection committee for their recognition of the work performed by our team within our health and disability programs and services and through our involvement on various local, regional and provincial, health and disability advisory  committees. .

The Board of Directors, senior management and BCANDS team would like to recognize and thank each of our funding and partner agencies, our communities and our clients for their support and collaboration over the years, without which, this honour would not be possible.

For more information on the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – BC Division and the Dr. Nancy Hall Award please visit their website at:

IMG_1482        Letter from Provincial Health


British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) recipient of  the 2013 British Columbia Medical Association’s Council on Health Promotion Award of Excellence

It is with great pleasure that the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) announces that the Society has been selected as a recipient for the 2013 – British Columbia Medical Association’s (BCMA), 14th Annual Council on Health Promotion Award of Excellence within the Non-profit Sector. BCANDS received the award on June 1st, 2013.

The BCMA’s Council on Health Promotion Award of Excellence recognize individuals and organizations working to improve the health and safety of British Columbians by celebrating those who demonstrate leadership in health promotion. Nominations received by the BCMA are judged against the degree to which they promote the health and/or safety of people in British Columbia and demonstrate “health promotion” as defined by the World Health Organization.

BCANDS feels sincerely privileged for this honour and thanks the BCMA selection committee for their recognition of our services and our selection for this prestigious award.

The Board of Directors, senior management and staff of BCANDS would like to thank each of our funding and partner agencies, our communities and our clients for their support and collaboration over the years and to say that we look forward to our continued and expanded work together into the future.

For more information on the British Columbia Medical Association (BCMA) please visit their website at:


“BCANDS wishes to respectfully acknowledge the traditional territory of the Coast Salish Nation of Esquimalt on which our main office is located. We further wish to acknowledge those organizations and communities across British Columbia, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, who assist us in our work.”

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