Manitoba Government Announces First Indigenous-Led Rapid Access to Addictions Medicine Clinic Now Operational

Press Release

December 12, 2023

Clinic Creates Access to Culturally Appropriate Substance-Use and Addictions Services: Smith

The first Indigenous-led and culturally informed Rapid Access to Addictions Medicine (RAAM) clinic at the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre (AHWC) Inc. in Winnipeg is now operational, Housing, Addictions and Homelessness Minister Bernadette Smith, minister responsible for mental health, announced today.

“Our government is committed to expanding treatment options so Manitobans have the support they need to overcome addictions,” said Smith. “This clinic is a result of listening to public health experts to create a culturally informed harm reduction approach to the addictions crisis. The AHWC RAAM clinic has become an outstanding clinical example of what a decolonized treatment centre that’s focused on the specific needs of our relatives should look like.”

This Indigenous-led RAAM clinic has proven to be a successful model of care for culturally directed substance-use and addictions treatment, noted the minister. The client-centered clinic offers wrap-around supports including assessment, counselling, medication, referrals to withdrawal management services and direct access to community treatment programs and primary health-care providers. Harm reduction supplies including Naloxone, a medication to counter an opioid overdose, are also available at this RAAM clinic.

“For close to 30 years, the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre of Winnipeg has served the urban Indigenous community by putting the needs of our relatives first,” said Della Herrera, executive director, AHWC. “The love and intention put into this model at each phase of its development and implementation, from how we set up our exam rooms to the way we provide care based upon a shared philosophy rooted in compassion, demonstrates how we respond to addictions treatment.”

The Manitoba government is providing $1 million in annual funding to support the new clinic’s operation, noted Smith. There are now seven specialized RAAM clinics operating throughout the province with three clinics in Winnipeg.

“RAAM clinics provide Manitobans struggling with substance use and addiction the ability to access a variety of supports they need in one place,” said Lori Ulrich, director, intake, co-ordination and crisis services, Shared Health. “The establishment of Manitoba’s first Indigenous-led RAAM clinic at the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre is highly important for the Indigenous community.”

AHWC will also partner with the Manitoba Mobile Addiction Team to Increase Community Capacity and Access program to provide ongoing virtual support to Indigenous people residing in rural and northern areas.

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For more information:

  • Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.
  • Media requests for general information, contact Communications and Engagement:


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