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Nova Scotia to fund $2M Mi’kmaw mental health, addictions strategy

Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia to fund $2M Mi’kmaw mental health, addictions strategy'
Nova Scotia to fund $2M Mi’kmaw mental health, addictions strategy
WATCH: Nova Scotia is pledging $2 million to help with the creation of a Mi’kmaw mental health and addictions strategy. The initiative’s goal is to offer culturally-appropriate care. As Callum Smith reports, that’s welcome news to those tasked with creating the framework – Mar 15, 2022

The Nova Scotia government will provide $2 million in funding to a growing Mi’kmaw health and wellness organization to support the development of a Mi’kmaw mental health and addictions strategy.

In a release Tuesday, the province said the money will go to Tajikeimɨk, a developing organization comprised of a collaboration of 13 Mi’kmaw nations which will be responsible for designing and delivering health and wellness services.

Read more: How a Mi’kmaw man went from being ‘trapped’ to helping others with addiction struggles

The strategy will guide the development of a “comprehensive, high-quality and culturally appropriate Mi’kmaw mental wellness system,” the release said, while incorporating Mi’kmaw culture and values and aiming to enhance trauma-informed health and cultural supports.

Click to play video: 'Mi’kmaw Legal Support Network provides path to healing'
Mi’kmaw Legal Support Network provides path to healing

“Today’s announcement demonstrates the partnership between the Mi’kmaq and the provincial health system and acknowledges the long-standing health disparities between the Mi’kmaq and other Nova Scotians as a result of colonization, systemic racism and generations of cultural, social, and historical disadvantage,” said Chief Norman Bernard of Wagmatcook First Nation, who is one of two lead chiefs for Tajikeimɨk.

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“With this funding, communities will lead and develop a comprehensive and high-quality First Nations mental wellness system that values culture as the foundation and incorporates the Mi’kmaw wholistic vision of healing and wellness.”

Read more: Mi’kmaw, justice partnership helps prevent reoffending through healing

Lindsay Peach, the executive director of Tajikeimɨk, said the funding “will enable the advancement of the mental wellness priorities that have been identified by the First Nations communities.”

“Working collaboratively with community, health teams, and partner organizations, the Mi’kmaw Mental Health and Addictions Strategy will guide the development of a continuum of mental health and addictions services that are led by the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, focusing on strengths and supporting the growth of a skilled Indigenous workforce,” she said.

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