Funding announced for Lac La Ronge wellness centre
- EFN Staff | February 15, 2019
A recent visit from the Minister of Indigenous Services announced new funding will be allocated for Lac La Ronge Wellness, Healing and Recovery Centre to increasing access to mental health and wellness supports for First Nations. On February 14th, Minister of Indigenous Services Seamus O’Regan announced the Government of Canada will be working in partnership with Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB) to improve access to health services and strengthen mental health and well-being supports for First Nations youth and their families.
“[The] announcement is an example of all levels of government and leadership working together to support First Nations health and improving mental health and well-being,” said Minister O’Regan in a media release. “I commend Chief and Council of Lac La Ronge Indian Band for their vision of this wellness, healing and recovery centre and for moving this project one major step closer to reality.”
The federal government is funding $11.6 million, Saskatchewan has committed $2.5 million, and the LLRIB will contribute $2 million. This new funding will be provided over three years, and allow for the development of a new health facility that will blend western and traditional Indigenous approaches to healing and recovery.
LLRIB Chief Tammy Cook-Searson stated this is a crucial solution to their need for better access to health and addiction services in helping their communities.
“With this funding support, I am pleased that our vision of securing a Wellness, Healing and Recovery Centre in northern Saskatchewan is closer to becoming a reality,” stated LLRIB Chief Tammy Cook-Searson. “This program and facility are the result of five years of extensive consultations with our membership and other community members from young children to our Elders who have asked for improved local and culturally sensitive health opportunities.”
The Saskatchewan Minister of Rural and Remote Health Greg Ottenbreit said the provincial government is committed to improving the health and well-being of Saskatchewan residents.
“We are pleased to provide $2.5 million dollars in funding for capital costs specifically associated with the healing and recovery aspects of the proposed facility, which will include 10 addictions recovery beds,” said Minister Ottenbreit.
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Executive sent out a congratulatory statement to the LLRIB Chief and Council and community on the multi-million-dollar funding.
“Congratualtions to Chief Tammy Cook-Searson, her Council and staff and community. They have been lobbying tirelessly for this wellness centre for a long time and their hard work is finally paying off,” said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron. “We’re proud to see that this healing and recovery clinic will also have a strong focus on traditional First Nations culture, protocol and medicines and it’s door will be open to everyone who needs it in the North.”
The Lac La Ronge Wellness, Healing and Recovery Centre will focus on wellness outreach and recovery services, as well as provide accommodation for 10 persons and a remote community program of mini-lodges that allow for individual stay/transition. Youth and their families will have full access to counselling services, including counsellors, mental health workers and traditional healing.