Notes from the Trail: Allow First Nations to heal themselves – NNSL Media

December 2, 2022

Treating addictions is not just about treating addicts. It is about treating the community.

Last week was National Addictions Awareness Week and most of the discussion focused on creating a made-in-the-NWT treatment centre, which we have not had for several years. Health and Social Services opted instead to send people south to either Alberta or British Columbia where, after spending six weeks in a recovery program, they are generally returned home. The only centre run by First Nations was Poundmaker’s Lodge outside of Edmonton, which terminated its contract with the GNWT. We wonder why.

Why is it that even though the majority of those receiving treatment are First Nations people, we continue to send them to recovery centres operated by white people? They might have all the right education but that does not mean their methods are right for other cultures. That’s colonialism.

In a series of interviews done by the CBC last week, Roy Fabian, long-standing chief of the K’atlodeeche First Nation in Hay River, who worked in recovery, said that one of the issues is the different approaches between the cultures. It is not one size fits all.

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