Conayts Programs

Today Conayt has 11 programs that offer a whole variety of services. We now have ample room for expansion and are looking forward to offering more programs and services in the future.

Housing Manager- Jordana McIvor-Grismer

Click below for

Conayt Housing Application

You can print this and then send or bring it in to our office


Conayt has been in the forefront of the low income housing market in the Nicola Valley, providing housing for 26 years.  We have been building the relationships, technical capabilities, and the effective management systems required to provide a good quality accountable housing program.  Conayt’s housing portfolio includes one and two bedroom handicapped units, two three and four bedroom family units, half duplexes with private fenced yards, and a mobile home.


We provide a range of housing solutions for low income families of Aboriginal descent.  We have a portfolio of 42 units that are used to provide homes to our clients.  Conayt ranks among the top Aboriginal housing providers in the province.  Not by the number of houses we provide, or by the size of the community, but by ourability to meet the needs of the people we serve.  We are the only organization in the Nicola Valley with this much success in bridging the housing gap for Aboriginal families in need.


We have a well trained and experienced housing team and are supported by our Housing Committee consisting of Society members and directors.  These are the folks that guide and provide quality and customized solutions to our tenants diverse needs.  We have provided housing to more than 800 cumulative tenants over 26 years.  We provide housing solutions directly to approximately 155 people at any given time.


Our housing program is one way we have been able to reach Aboriginal households and make a positive impact by first of all providing a basic personal need, housing.  Secondly we make positive change by reaching out and presenting workshops, information, and supports to assist those families in getting themselves on their feet.  

Tenant Relations - Mark Coutlee

Ph: 250-378-5107

Ext. 8503

The Tenant Counsellor organizes fun family events, and other tenant activities such as:


  • Singing
  • Children’s activities
  • Family and social celebrations and gatherings


  • Peer support
  • Feasts
  • Crafts
  • Cultural events and much more.


A wide range of information and workshops is offered to meet the needs of our tenants which include:

  • First Aid
  • Safety
  • Literacy
  • Culture
  • Budgeting
  • Life skills 



Alcohol & Drug Program

Alcohol & Drug Coordinator - Victor York

Ph: 250-378-5107 or 250-378-8512


Out-Patient Services:
  •  Counselling for individuals, groups, couples, youth and families. Counselling for persons affected by another persons substance misuse. Screenings and assessments and referrals to other resources and specialized services.
  • Alcohol and Drug Education and prevention in home, school and the              community

Case management, consultation, assessment referral and Co-programming with other agencies and services, such as:

  • Outpatient treatment
  • Detox
  • After care
  • Outreach Education
  • Relapse prevention

Educational and Prevention Groups

Come in and learn about a variety of topics that may help you prevent a relapse now or in the future.  Small groups with time to learn from one another. The Facilitator will incorporate Cognitive Learning keeping the  Mental, Spiritual, Emotional and Physical self in mind. Hands on assignments and visual aids will all come together to create a balanced & fun learning experience.  Everyone is welcome to attend and learn.Educational and Prevention Groups


Crack Busters Group Flyer Here  

Are you struggling with Crack Cocaine and want to quit?  I will be starting a group to help individuals quit  once and for all. We will be using the work book Crack Busters  to guide us through the recovery process.  If you are serious  about wanting to quit  and are willing to do what it takes then please join us.  We will be meeting on Tuesdays at 1pm . To sign up call John Duff ICADC and leave your name and a contact number where you can be reached.


Lunch Time Workshops Flyer Here

I have decided to offer a workshop or information session  during lunch hour at least once a month. Come and join us or watch for a poster announcing what the topic will be for each session. Bring a bag lunch and join us. Learn about different drugs and how they affect those who use them. Or learn more about a topic such as anger, or shame and guilt, or perhaps how to improve your relationship.  I will try to have them on the first Wednesday of each month.  The first will be on May 5th at noon. The topic will be on Crystal Meth everyone welcome. So come out and join us.


Anger Management Group Flyer Here

The group has started but there is still room for more to join. If you want to join us call and make an appointment.



Family Preservation

Family Preservation Coordinator - Vivian McBee, BSW

Ph: 250-378-8514 or 250-378-5107

"Together We Stand" The Family Preservation Program continues to deliver services that provide early supports and intervention through a holistic, home-based , family centred approach to effectively prevent family unit breakdowns. 

  In addition to reducing the number of Aboriginal chilren in care, the desired outcomes, include but are not limited to, ensuring that children and youth live in safe enviroments and that families are familiar with personal and community resources.

  A critical component of the program is the " Elders Grassroots"  group that focuses on teaching traditional nuturing and practices to Aborigional families. In compliance with the programs operational principals, whether participant`s needs are simple or complex, timely, appropriate assistance will be available that respects and promotes independence and self-determination.

  • One on One Counselling
  • Family Mediations
  • Referrals
Holistic Wellness Program
Wellness Program Coordinator - Wanda Brown

Ph: 250-378-8515




 "It takes a village to raise a child" The intention behind Wellness Program is to promote health and well-being among community members, by providing holistic services, such as workshops, educational events and psycho-spiritual counseling. We view health as being a balance between one’s mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being.We can support wide range of emotional and mental challenges, including depression, anxiety, behaviour problems, difficulty concentrating/thinking, self-harm/suicide, eating disorders and inter-generational trauma. We have a child and youth development clinician available to help children deal with these difficulties.

The main focus of this program are children and youth; however, recognizing that their well-being is dependent primarily on adults in their lives – their parents, grandparents, extended family members, etc. we will continue to offer workshops and ongoing programs supporting the adults in their parenting skills, communication skills, problem-solving and mediating skills, coping with stressful situations and emotional upsets, building and maintaining healthy relationships. In a nutshell, the aim of Wellness Program is to build the capacity for wellness in the whole community, because well-being of children depends on the well-being of the entire community. Just like the indigenous African wisdom says: “It takes a village to raise a child”, we need to recognize that the successful lives of our children depend on everyone in the community and it’s environment.

 We will offer the following personal development programs in the fall and winter:

True Peace Parenting                    Flyer Here

Today’s fast changing and complex world can be a stressful place and raising children in it is a demanding job that never ends, and can be confusing and overwhelming even for the best of us. All parents, and especially single parents, need support in the challenge of raising children. This program is intended to show how the wellness of parents and their children will be realized and restored, and their relationships harmonized, when they learn to relax and focus their attention on the state of True Peace within them. 

This personal development program is open to parents, extended family and any one who participates in the care of children in any possible way. Please email ( or call me to sign up (250-378-8515).

The time, place and format will be determined at a later date when group is formed.

Recognizing our Natural Brilliance — learning skills      Flyer Here

Knowing the true source of our personal power that sits inside of us and approaching learning through its wisdom will make a big difference in our relationships to learning and studying. Studying can become effortless and enjoyable if we prepare for the experience. Knowing our individual learning styles and study skills, recognizing our personal strengths and removing blockages to effortless learning  will make the school experience a lot more acceptable, if not enjoyable.

This personal development program is open to children and youth, and  adult caretakers. Please email or call me to sign up. The time, place and format will be determined when group is formed. Please email ( or call me to sign up (250-378-8515).

Residential School Survivors       Flyer Here

We are extending invitation to all survivors and their family members to join us in this Traditional Healing Journey.

We are hoping to offer the first module of this workshop in the latter part of October. Please email or call to sign up. The specific time, place and format will be determined when group is formed.

Working with Difficult Emotions                   Flyer Here

This program is intended to support parents and caretakers in developing coping skills necessary to handle their own and their children's emotional challenges. We will work with releasing techniques, art of building emotional awareness and freedom from emotional distress. We will introduce you to the emotional ladder, provide intimate understanding of emotional states, and offer tools for connecting with our personal strengths, and techniques to work with and release extreme emotions. 

This personal development program is open to parents, extended family and any one who participates in the care of children in any possible way. Please email ( or call me to sign up (250-378-8515).

The time, place and format will be determined when group is formed.

Community Programs
Programs Coordinator - Deloris Charters

Ph: 250-378-8504

The Community Program focuses on Social and Recreational activities which are designed to encourage parcitipation of the children, youth, adults and elders.
  • Weekly Free Swim & Gym
  • Summer Day Camp
  • Pre-Teen Summer Day Camp
  • Weekly Craft Classes
  • Elders Network
  • Conayt Bingo Every Thursday
  • Aboriginal Day 
  • Spring Fall & Winter Celebrations
  • Elder Christmas Hampers and much more
Prenatal / Nutrition Program

Prenatal / Nutritionist Coordinator - Alanna Cowan

Ph: 250-378-8518

The Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP) funds community groups such as Merritt mom’s Prenatal program to develop or enhance programs for vulnerable pregnant women. Through a community development approach, the CPNP aims to reduce the incidence of unhealthy birth weights, improve the health of both infant and mother and encourage breastfeeding.  

CPNP enhances access to services and strengthens inter-sectored collaboration to support the needs of pregnant women facing conditions of risk. As a comprehensive program, the services provided include:  

  • Food
  • Supplementation
  • Nutrition counselling
  • Support
  • Education    


Weekly Groups  

  • Pre- and Postnatal Groups
  • Lunch Club
  • Cooking Club
  • Craft Club
  • Family Culture Club
  • Play Group  


Ongoing Services  

  • Individual Support Counseling
  • (Drop-in Style)
  • Home Visits
  • Transportation
  • Nutrition Counseling  
  • Food Gift Certificates
  • Bus passes
  • Emergency Food
  • Give-Away Clothes
  • Swim and Skate Passes  


Other Activities and Events  

  • Drum Making
  • Berry and Root Picking
  • Salmon Harvesting
  • Fishing
  • Family Culture Night  
  • Parenting Programs
  • Infant Massage
  • First Aid / Food Safe
  • Field Trips (Waterslides,Vancouver Aquarium)
Merritt Family Development Program - Merritt Moms

Family Development Coordinator - Wanda Dexel

Ph: 250-378-8517

This program reaches familys and single mothers/fathers of children ages 0 - 6 with raising their children in a healthy way. This program hosts traditional and cultural workshops to help families gain skills and knowledge inspiring pride in cultural identity. They have a nutritionst on staff that works with expecting mothers to help guide them in making healthy nutritional choices for themselves and their families. They offer a wide variety of programs for participants and their children to participate in, such as drop in activities and lunch clubs.
Prenatal Support Program

Prenatal Support Worker/Family Outreach Worker - Jackie Smithers

Ph: 250-378-8516



Cultural Programs




The Cultural Programs provides enrichment in a persons ability to appreciate their Aboriginal culture, its way of life, its thinking, and its values.

Programs include:

  • Elder/Youth activities
  • Weekly smudges
  • Evening Story Telling
  • Weekly Sweats
  • Traditional Food/Herbs Harvesting
Hearts & Hands Daycare


Daycare workers - Colleen Shackelly Ph: 280-1078 & Shannon Chillihitzia Ph:315-8707
Hearts & Hands Daycare

Conayt Friendship Society has partnered with Merritt School District #58 to offer the Hearts and Hands Daycare/Teen Mom Program This program provides licensed daycare for mothers between the age of 14 to 24 that want to go back to school to obtain grade 12, do college preparation, and job readiness skills.

Currently there are 10 teen moms and their infants in the program. We are looking for another 10 more participants to join the program. The start date is Sept. 7,2010

Location: Kengard School Facility at 2475 Merritt Ave. 

If you are interested in joining this program, please contact: Christine Thygesen, Merritt Secondary School 250-378-5131












© 2010 Conayt Friendship Society

        Conayt Friendship Society - We're more than just a friendly place