The grand opening of COINS’ new building was held Oct. 29. From COINS’ Facebook page

The grand opening of COINS’ new building was held Oct. 29. From COINS’ Facebook page

New home means bright future for aboriginal service agency

COINS opened its new headquarters on Oct. 29

A group that provides cultural support services and resources for aboriginal people in the West Kootenay/Boundary has a new home.

COINS, the Circle of Indigenous Nations Society, moved into its new office and community space at 1801 Conners Road on Oct. 29.

It’s a big improvement over the small space they’ve been using above Castlegar Community Services since 2013, says COINS executive director Kris Salikin.

“We had two offices with seven to eight staff since 2015,” she says. “Last year our elders advisory council — our board — said ‘stop applying for funding, we have no place to put more people.’”

That’s all changed with the new facility, but it was a bit of whirlwind making the dream of a new home for COINS a reality, says Salikin.

They first spotted the building on the market in February.

“It took a lot of working around, can we afford it? We’re a non-profit society,” she recalled. “So our work was to try to purchase it at the same time to co-ordinate funders who could offer us money to pay for renovations.

“And we were very successful.”

The big supporters for the project were Teck Trail Operations; the Columbia Basin Trust; Columbia Power Corporation; FortisBC; and the Ministry of Child and Family Services.

The building was a bit of a fixer-upper. The basement, which now houses about five offices, a kitchen, and supply area, was nothing but a cement floor when they bought the building at the end of June. Renovations on the 3,200 square-foot space cost about $125,000, and went incredibly smoothly.

“It needed extensive renovations. But our contractor pulled it off. We were in here on Oct. 9,” Salikin says. “And I didn’t grow a grey hair.”

The new building and extra space will allow COINS to apply for new programs, and do more work for the Indigenous community and be more helpful for families looking for support.

The main floor has an open meeting area that allows for larger gatherings and ceremonies, as well as creating rental space that can generate extra income for the society.

COINS now has nine programs with 12 staff people, from infant development programs to family care and mental health and addiction programs and counselling.

But the new building provides more than just space for programming.

“Indigenous people in this area will always feel like they have a place where they belong,” says Salikin. “Our doors are always open, they can come in and just sit, or sit with their drums, or they can invite an elder and that’s a big piece as well.

“When I retire, I hope this building will still be here for generations for Indigenous people to access.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

COINS executive director Kris Salikin says acquiringt their new office was a whirlwind purchase and renovation, but it went smoothly.                                 Photo: John Boivin

COINS executive director Kris Salikin says acquiringt their new office was a whirlwind purchase and renovation, but it went smoothly. Photo: John Boivin

Just Posted

Caroline Lafond is a Recreation Fish and Wildlife student at Selkirk College. Photo: Submitted
Ecological Comment: Help keep the goats of Gimli wild

A column written by Recreation Fish and Wildlife students at Selkirk College

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Nelson Police responded to 802 calls last year they say had an element of mental health. File photo
Nelson Police: 802 mental-health related calls in 2020

That accounts for 12 per cent of total calls for service

Several large trees came down in the recent windstorm and destroyed a part of the building that houses Camp Koolaree’s showers and boy’s washroom. The camp has served generations of Kootenay families since 1931 as the Nelson area’s longest running children’s summer camp. Photo: Submitted
Camp Koolaree’s wash house destroyed by January windstorms

The camp is in need of donations to make repairs

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Most Read