Sapawsultieg Victim Services began in October 2022 in collaboration with the Listuguj Police Department. The title of the program means, “We Survive” in Mi’gmaq. The program’s Victim Specialist, Kali Barnaby said she wanted to incorporate the language in her service’s title so that it speaks for itself. When it comes to the program’s development, Barnaby said, “It was initially enacted by the urgent need to address and understand conjugal/domestic violence and sexualized violence victims with their needs and concerns.”
Barnaby graduated from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology and Psychology. She has vast experience working with the youth in the community and has now moved on to offer her expertise in victim services.
Barnaby works with the Listuguj Police Department to offer assistance, support, and guidance to victims, witnesses, and survivors of crime. These types of services include assessments, crisis intervention, de-escalation and safety planning, provision of information, emotional support, and/or referrals to organizations if needed. It’s important to add that these services are confidential, bias-free, and culturally appropriate. This program also offers aid in understanding the criminal justice process and inquiries.
Listuguj is very fortunate to have a resource like Sapawsultieg Victim Services offered to those who are in need. It allows individuals to feel as though they aren’t alone after they’ve experienced a traumatic event in their lives. Barnaby said, “These types of support services are very important in our Indigenous community as we have historically experienced many forms of trauma, so with knowledge of our culture, history, and issues, we will better accommodate the needs of our people into the criminal justice system.”
When someone is a victim of a crime, they might not know how to process it, and what steps are needed to take care of themselves afterward. People may not have the support system that is very much needed during a difficult time. This program is available to point them in the right direction to healing. “Some advice I would like to pass along to others that may be going through a difficult time, or needing emotional support would be to be kind to yourself. To put yourself first by taking a step back and allowing yourself to be supported by someone,” said Barnaby.
Since this resource is still quite new in the community, individuals might not be fully aware this is a resource that is available to them at any time. If you would like to get in contact with Kali Barnaby regarding her services with the Listuguj Police Department, there are several ways to do so. You can contact the Listuguj Police Department at 418-788-2334 (Non-Emergency line) and 418-788-2003 (Emegency line.) You can also contact her directly at her email, Kali.Barnaby@listuguj.ca or you can message her via Facebook on her page, “Kali Sapawsultieg VS.”
By Ann Marie Jacques