July 18, 2020
By Robert Doane
Carrier Sekani Family Services (CSFS) is one step closer to providing year-round residential addictions treatment. Although details are pending, CSFS is closer to finding a home for its proposed treatment centre, which would be located within Saik’uz territory. Right now, work is underway with the Province of B.C. to re-zone land to ensure the project can come to fruition. Nevertheless, CSFS has other options for the location of the Treatment Center.
The project has been a long time coming for those seeking help with addiction. Since 1993, CSFS has offered cultural healing to Member Nations. For the last 27 years, an addiction recovery program has helped change lives from the shores of Ormond Lake using an “on the land” cultural healing philosophy. This new treatment centre will build on the decades from that work.
The need for mental health and addictions treatment in Northern B.C. is even more pronounced than ever. Statistics Canada reports suicide rates among First Nations are twice the national average, and Alberta and B.C. hospital records show First Nations people, particularly men, are admitted more frequently than other residents. Furthermore, according to the BC Centre of Disease Control (BCCDC), recent reports from the Northern Health authority showed the highest rate of overdose deaths in B.C.
The vision for the proposed treatment center is one that would include a detox unit, residential treatment and even extended care housing. The planned co-ed facility would include at least ten detox beds while providing housing for more than 35 residents at a time. Most importantly, it will provide one-of-a-kind service in collaboration with Member Nations. A facility that Chief Corinna Leween, President of CSFS says has been a long time coming.
“We no longer have to rely on sending our members outside our territory and can get the help they need right in our back yard and within the confines of our cultural practices for healing our people.”
CSFS has hired an architectural firm to assist with the vision, planning and construction. It will be designed in a way to promote Carrier culture and a “culture as healing” philosophy, building on the core values of CSFS as a whole and the relationships it has with Member nations. When completed, services will not only be provided at the centre, but across Member communities in conjunction with the centre.
CSFS has worked very hard in advocating for the treatment centre. CEO Warner Adam says that many of our elders, who now have passed on to the spirit world, identified the need for a treatment center over 25 years ago.
“Their dreams will become a reality and I ask that they guide in the development and operations for the center so that it will provide good medicine to our people.”
The opening of the proposed treatment center itself is to be determined.
Last modified: Friday 12-Jun-20 15:43:45 PDT