Sts’ailes and Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village
Our Unique Relationship
Evolution of the Healing Village
o The Government of Canada and CSC recognized the unique culture and
needs of aboriginal offenders and the over representation of aboriginal
people in prisons. In 1998 the development of Elbow Lake Institution
as an Aboriginal Healing Village began through discussions with the
Chehalis Indian Band (now known as Sts’ailes).
o The late Ron Wiebe, then Warden of Elbow Lake and Ferndale
minimum security institution, had a vision that saw Elbow Lake
become the Pacific Region’s center for Aboriginal programs as an
Aboriginal Healing Village.
o The Chief, then Alex Paul, and Council have the mandate to look after
the interests, health and well-being of its band members. Therefore,
prior to engaging CSC in any formal agreement, they insisted on
conducting community consultation with its membership.
Considerations for how to
Manage the Facility
o Three different management approaches were considered:
Section 81 facility - Chehalis decided that this option was not
exactly what they intended and did not want to fully engage that
model at this time.
Co-Management – After a thorough review it was determined that
this was not legally viable within Corrections
Inclusive Partnership – This approach allowed Chehalis to be
actively involved and would assist the management of Kwìkwèxwelhp
in respecting and fulfilling the true mandate of what the vision was
for this new institution
The Result of Consultation
After much consultation and consideration, the
Inclusive Partnership option would meet both
Chehalis and CSC’s mandates and vision.
MOU Signing 2001
In May 2001 the Chehalis Indian Band and CSC Kwiwkexwelhp signed an MOU that defined the parameters
of the relationship and officially in October Elbow Lake
Institution was renamed Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village, “
A place where we gather medicines”.
Inclusive partnership is
accomplished through the
oSi’wesalh Slelhals (Senate
Advisory Committee)
oCooperative Programs
Board (CO-OP)
oCitizen Advisory Committee
– including members of
oContracted Services
(Community Engagement
and Cultural Activities)
oConsultation during
Transfers and ETA
Community House
• Our community house was built in
2001. A Sts’ailes band member was
hired at that time and continues to
work with CSC today.
•This is the only building of its kind
within any CSC prison. This home
is in essence a Longhouse. However,
since this building would also be
used for meetings as well as
ceremony, it was determined that
this would be more appropriately
named a Community House.
• Our Community House has been
officially approved as the site for
Parole Board hearings.
• We hold monthly Welcome
Ceremony and Open Forum
meetings in the Community House
as well as various training and
graduation ceremonies .
•To maintain our home with the
same integrity as in the community,
we conduct a Winter opening
(November) and closing ceremony
(February) as per the longhouse
Evolution of the Community House
Community House Model
Community House Construction 2001
Raising of the poles
Construction phase
Progression of our Partnership
 Human resource development;
Shadowing program in
2000. Kwìkwèxwelhp was able
to obtain funding for 10 people
from the local communities to
participate in a six-week
program. This resulted in 2 staff
hired for works/maintenance
and 2 staff were hired as
Correctional Officers (CX).
 The initial members of the CAC
were Boyd Peters and Willie
Charlie from Sts’ailes.
 Human resource development;
Co-mentorship program in
2012. Kwìkwèxwelhp was able to
obtain funding for 3 people from
the local communities to
participate in 90 days of work
experience in a CSC
environment. This resulted in 2
clerical staff (CR) being hired, 1
as a term by RHQ and 1 as casual
at Kwìkwèxwelhp.
 Boyd Peters is the chairperson of
our CAC . Our membership now
includes a First Nations member
from Leq' a: mel First Nations in
Partnership cont’d
 The Warden of Kwìkwèxwelhp and the Chief of Sts’ailes meet regularly to
discuss and seek input on new initiatives, staff changes, and issues that arise;
i.e. tobacco/smoking, behaviour of Kwikw te álex (cultural name for the
offenders given to them by the community) while on the reserve.
 The Kwikw te álex are also held accountable for their behaviour. They
clearly understand the importance of this relationship between CSC and
Sts’ailes and the impact their behaviour and decisions have on the
community and this relationship.
Partnership cont’d
 A Community Consultation was conducted in 2013 to evaluate the existing
relationship between CSC and Sts’ailes and to provide recommendations for the
partnership to continue to move forward.
Kwìkwèxwelhp Re-Development
 Kwìkwèxwelhp was originally intended as a temporary work camp.
However, when the site changed from Elbow Lake to Kwìkwèxwelhp
there was a need to review all aspects of the facility to fully engage and
support Aboriginal lifestyle and teachings.
 The Site re-development would allow us to promote Coast Salish
architecture and teachings; Totem Poles, Welcome Posts, Flowing Water
to name a few things. During the discussion around the re-development,
members of the Si’wesalh Slelhals, Sts’ailes, Kwìkwèxwelhp, RHQ, and
NHQ were involved in the design of the new facility.
 Another unique opportunity arose that would support employment and
apprenticeship training of Sts’ailes members and the Kwikwteálex. The
contract for the Site Re-Development would have an Aboriginal set aside
clause and an apprenticeship component, where 4 Kwikwteálex and 3
members of Sts’ailes would be hired by the construction company for the
duration of the project.
Redevelopment – Works & Corcan building
Welcome Building
Future.... Living Units
Key elements to a successful
Sts’ailes and CSC do not have a high level form of agreement. However, CSC has always been
very understanding and respectful of the protocols of ceremony and have included Sts’ailes in
various discussions and have relied on them to provide advice to senior managers.
CSC and Kwìkwèxwelhp specifically have incorporated the beliefs into our day to day
operation, and resolution of conflict (charges , segregation etc). The overall atmosphere of the
village is that of community (i.e. Calling Elder Rita Leon – Grandma)
Leadership from the institution and support from Regional Headquarters to the community of
Sts’ailes is phenomenal.
Continuous and ongoing communication is paramount. The Warden at Kwìkwèxwelhp
regularly meets with the Chief of Sts’ailes to discuss incidents, struggles, challenges, protocols,
Regular sharing of information also occurs at the Senate Meetings, CO-OP, and CAC meetings.
The relationship between Kwìkwèxwelhp and Sts’ailes continues to strengthen,
and is setting an example on how partnerships with Aboriginal communities is
paramount to the safe reintegration of Aboriginal offenders ultimately resulting in
safer communities.

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