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.