Find your healing path: Support services for residential school and intergenerational survivors


In honour of the third anniversary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the First Nations Health Authority acknowledges the courage, resilience and ongoing healing of survivors 

Note: The information and material here may trigger unpleasant feelings or thoughts of past abuse.  Please contact the 24 Hour Residential School Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419 if you require emotional support.

To mark the anniversary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) completing its work in December 2015, the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) shares its ongoing commitment to supporting residential school and intergenerational survivors as they continue to heal.

The TRC report included 94 Calls to Action to be implemented nationally to support ongoing healing and reconciliation. In many areas, the FNHA's work goes above and beyond the seven health-specific TRC Calls to Action, indicating our broader wellness-based approach to this work. You can find an overview of some of the FNHA's work associated with the TRC report's Calls to Action here.


Residential schools did tremendous harm to First Nations in Canada. Helping people heal from the damage is critically important for individuals, families, communities and Nations. The consequences of the abuse suffered in these schools continue to affect First Nations through an intergenerational effect: the harm caused to students affects families and communities over generations.

Remember that you are not alone. Residential school survivors and intergenerational survivors can find healing.

As a residential school survivor or intergenerational survivor in BC, there are many support services available to you—offered directly through the FNHA or through partner organizations. Below is a list of programs, support lines and other services for trauma survivors.


Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program

The Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program provides mental health and emotional supports to eligible former Indian Residential School students and their families.

The program's aim is to ensure that eligible former students of residential schools, and their families, have access to appropriate and safe mental health, emotional and cultural support. Services are offered, using a holistic approach, by a Cultural Support Worker or a Residential School Health Support Worker.

Find the full list of IRS Resolution Health Support Program Aboriginal Service Providers – Resolution Health Support/Cultural Support Workers here:


Support and help provided through the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program:

Cultural Support

Cultural supports are provided by local First Nations organizations, which coordinate the services of Elders and/or traditional healers. Support assists students and their families to safely address issues related to residential schools as well as with disclosure of abuse during the Settlement Agreement process. Services are based on individual needs and include dialogue, ceremonies, prayers and traditional healing.

Emotional Support

Services are provided by local First Nations organizations to help students and families address issues related to the schools and with disclosure of abuse during the Settlement Agreement process. An Aboriginal mental health worker will listen, talk and guide former students and family members through all phases of the Settlement Agreement process. 

Professional Counselling

Professional counsellors are psychologists and social workers who are registered with the First Nations Health Authority and have experience working with Aboriginal people. A professional counsellor will listen, talk and assist former students to find ways of healing from residential school experiences.

For professional counselling, please call toll free 1-877-477-0775 to request a counsellor.


Assistance with transportation costs is provided to access professional counselling services in some cases. Guidelines around transportation can be found in the FNHA Health Benefits travel policies. Learn more by calling toll free 1-877-477-0775. 



KUU-US Crisis Line Society 1-800-KUU-US17 (1- 800-588-8717)


KUU-US Crisis Line is a culturally safe crisis line available 24/7, regardless of where individuals reside in BC.

KUU-US services are for First Nations, by First Nations and all crisis response personnel are certified and trained in Indigenous cultural safety and therefore bring an understanding of First Nations history and trauma from the residential schools to their roles.

Toll-free: 1-800-588-8717 - Youth Line: 250-723-2040 - Adult Line: 250-723-4050.


National Indian Residential School Crisis Line 1-866-925-4419

The National Indian Residential School Crisis line has been set up to provide support for former residential school students. You can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling 24-hour National Crisis line. 


Treatment Centres

First Nations people of all ages and genders living in BC can receive treatment for addiction in a group or family setting at one of ten FNHA-funded treatment centres. The FNHA funds a total of 239 residential treatment beds in these treatment centres, whose programs are developed specifically for First Nations and offer a variety of cultural and clinical interventions and support for people struggling with addiction.

Services offered at treatment facilities vary but overall include services to First Nations individuals with physical disabilities; concurrent disorders; clients on methadone and Suboxone; family treatment; couples counselling; pregnant women; and clients on psychiatric medications.

Learn more here:


Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada


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