(PUBLISHER’S NOTE: All the MLA candidates were asked to comment on the best way forward for the sobering centre in Yellowknife. Go here to see the full question and context.)

The devolution of services to Indigenous governments has been in the works since the Tlicho started self government negotiations.  It’s been a long time without the GNWT stepping aside and enabling and encouraging the transfer.

We all know there are no simple solutions.  Living with wounds with years of pain is not easy, nor is it easy to heal.  Too often our dominant euro-Canadian approach is “why don”t you” – do this or try this.  I agree it would be a much more meaningful approach to step back and say to Indigenous governments and organizations    “ how can we help you plan and take the action you see as appropriate.  Tell us what we can do.”

Funding without strings, empowering without guidelines may be the only way to achieve the objective we all hope for –  healing and a healthy journey for those using facilities like the Sobering Centre.

I am thankful it exists and there are good staff who haven’t given up hope on the individuals using the facility.  Healing the community needs each of us, and each of us need healing.

Bruce Valpy

Bruce Valpy is former Publisher/CEO of NNSL Media. He can be reached at 1-867-445-2040

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