Sober(er) for October: One Community’s Journey – FNHA

The Sober(er) for October campaign is inclusive of everyone on their self-determined recovery journey, including those who prefer a harm-reduction approach as well as those who prefer abstinence. In our culture(s), storytelling is an important aspect of overall health and wellness of our people.

The Secwepemc community of Esk’etemc First Nations has a compelling story of healing and recovery that has been an inspiration for decades. From the 1950s to the ’70s, the small village (which was known back then as Alkali Lake and home to about 500 people) had an adult alcoholism rate of 100 percent. Even some of the young people were beginning to drink.

In 1972, the Esk’etemculucw (people of the Esk’etemc) started their turnaround towards recovery. Members of the community joined healing programs and attended treatment centres, supporting each other throughout their healing and recovery journeys. By 1986, adults in the community had reached more than 95 percent maintaining sobriety. The story is re-enacted in a movie titled “Honour of All.”

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