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Wellness centre ‘closer to becoming a reality’ for Lac La Ronge Indian Band

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The Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB) is getting capital funding from the Saskatchewan government towards a proposed wellness, health, and recovery centre.

The province is providing $2.5 million for 10 addictions treatment beds, which will blend western and traditional Indigenous approaches towards healing and recovery.

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LLRIB Chief Tammy Cook-Searson said support from the province brings the band closer to fulfilling their vision of a centre in northern Saskatchewan.

“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,” Cook-Searson said in a statement.

“It is a crucial solution to our need for better access to health and addiction services, and one that will be key in helping our communities in need to reach their full potential and, ultimately, achieve a better quality of life.”

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The facility will also have recreational facilities and mini-lodges that allow for individual stays as part of a remote community program.

Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit said the centre supports the government’s approach to improving the health and well-being of everyone in the province.

“We are pleased to provide capital funding to this centre, whose model of care will be both culturally responsive and community-driven,” Ottenbreit said in a statement.

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Officials said the facility supports the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.

They added it also meets the province’s mental health and addictions action plan to partner with Indigenous and Métis peoples in planning and delivering mental health and addictions services to communities.

LLRIB, one of the 10 largest First Nations in Canada with a population of nearly 11,000, is located roughly 355 kilometres north of Saskatoon.