(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.)

In many ways you have answered your own question. The Indigenous governments and organizations should have a very large, in fact a leading role in addressing this issue.

They understand the genesis of the problem, and with the right resources could be the best vehicles for implementing refined programmes.

There is much that could be done upstream at the community level. Many in Yellowknife focus on the end result rather than focusing efforts on addiction prevention in the communities themselves.

Properly run and locally based and staffed efforts could go a long way to stemming the flow of people from their homes, families, communities and culture to the streets of Yellowknife. I am of the mind that such programmes delivered in the comfort, familiarity of community, culture and family will yield far superior results. Much as learning a new language while encompassed within the culture speaking it is much more successful than trying to do so isolated from afar.

The proper redirection of resources to those closest to the people is long overdue.

Bruce Valpy

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

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