The Blackfoot Family Lodge Society plays a critical role in helping Indigenous women who need help adjusting to an urban setting. Established in 1993, the Blackfoot Family Lodge Society was born out of an identified need for transition accommodation for Indigenous women and has since been embodied as an umbrella organization for a tetrad of programs and services. Together, these programs offer an array of services geared to the complex needs of Indigenous women and their children, including transitional housing, social support service liaison and Blackfoot cultural education. Since it opened, the Society has accommodated over 1200 women along with their children.
The needs of the residents are both wide-ranging and profound. The Society’s commitment to fostering resident growth and development, affirming their self-worth, giving the resident a sense of being heard by fully exploring their issues, identifying barriers to their growth and development and developing strategies for overcoming barriers are the key to assisting residents to achieve independent living and self-reliance. By helping the women who choose to stay, the Society is a major player in helping to reduce dependence among the Indigenous population in the city.
Blackfoot Family Lodge (BFLS) is located at 830 7th Street North, Lethbridge. BFLS is a registered Canadian charity governed by a Board of Directors consisting of Indigenous men and women from the Blood and Piikani Reserves and the city of Lethbridge. Individually, the Board members bring an impressive array of knowledge and expertise to the table.
The Society currently oversees the maintenance of the property – a 12-bedroom women’s residence, a cultural and administration centre (former church) and a beautiful green space on 1.88 acres in Lethbridge. Services include transition and emergency housing for women and children; culturally appropriate supports for the families in residence; and a developing community Blackfoot cultural education program.