Pubdate: Mon, 01 Feb 2016
Source: Western Star, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2016 The Western Star
Page: 4


The Flat Bay Band Inc. is working on a project to develop a native
addictions treatment centre in consultation with Memorial University
and a local steering committee.

The project got underway in November 2015 and is expected to wrap up
in November of this year with a manuscript on the scope and nature of
the treatment centre, recommendations on site locations and draft plans.

Flat Bay Band Chief Liz LaSaga and the steering committee say there is
insufficient research into native health statistics in the province.
Along with Memorial, the research derived from this project will be a
fundamental piece of evidence. The need for the Nujio'qonik Healing
Center - named in recognition of the area in which it will be located,
Bay St. George - has long been recognized.

The first reaction of many might be that it sounds ludicrous to start
something like this at a time when government money is tight and
spending is being curtailed.

But the money put into establishing this centre would provide savings
in the long run.

Many court cases involve people with dependencies relating to drugs
and alcohol. It's safe to say many crimes take place because the
people involved are desperate to support their own dependencies or

Court dockets in this province are full of people who reoffend despite
having court orders against them not to consume alcohol or drugs that
are illegal or not prescribed to them.

Wouldn't it be better to have people in treatment centres and working
towards recovery, rather than in jails?

The focus of the proposed centre would be to apply a client-centered
method of healing and health using a combination of native traditional
values, knowledge and spirituality with Western mainstream therapeutic
services that would be unique to this area of the province.

The centre would not only serve people with addictions, but would also
include diabetes education, blood pressure checks, foot care and
healthy pregnancies. This would help ease some of the burden placed on

There would also be the cultural side that would be especially good
for people with addictions. They could partake of spiritual healing
through a First Nation cultural program, including
talking/sharing/healing circles, pipe ceremonies, sweat lodge
ceremonies, traditional teachings and counseling by elders and
spiritual leaders.

It may be exactly what some people need to get on the path to healing
and getting out of the vicious circle of repeated crime because of

Establishing a treatment centre is a great idea, especially since the
ultimate goal is to eventually make it available for all native people
across the province, and possibly beyond.
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MAP posted-by: Matt