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Friendship centre to deliver 28-day addictions program in Rankin Inlet

The Pulaarvik Kablu Friendship Centre (PKFC) is in the process of helping to implement a 28-day addictions program on the land near Rankin Inlet that will focus on healing on the land and traditional activities.

Nico Towtongie begins to skin a tuktu on the land near Rankin Inlet last fall. The Pulaarvik Kablu Friendship Centre is currently involved with developing a 28-day addictions program which will focus on being on the land and engaged in traditional activities.
Photo courtesy Noel Kaludjak

The PKFC’s executive director, Charlene Williams-Kaludjak, said the friendship centre has signed a contribution agreement with the Department of Health’s Quality of Life Secretariat.

Williams-Kaludjak said this is the first program development year for the program and the PKFC is currently in the process of purchasing the capital for the project and hiring a contractor to build cabins for the camp site.

“The overall idea of the program is to use a traditional on-the-land approach,” said Williams-Kaludjak.

“It will be a 28-day, ‘unplugged,’ away on the land healing program with counsellors and program staff.”

Williams-Kaludjak said, once the program is developed, the plan is for three intakes a year.

She said in addition to counsellors on staff, the PKFC has hired three staff members to work on the development of the program.

“We’re working with Nunavut’s other two regions and sharing best practices for the camp/program.

“The intakes will concentrate on working on addictions for alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc.”

The PKFC was identified by Quality of Life as a good organization to head the Kivalliq project because of the work it already does with counselling and mental health.

Williams-Kaludjak said the friendship centre was hoping to have its first intake before the end of the 2020-2021 fiscal year, but, due to Covid-19 and all of the travel restrictions associated with the pandemic, training for staff members is behind, making sometime next year a much more realistic scenario.

She said costs are still being worked out on the program for this year, including ordering, transportation, building and shipping costs.

“I’m looking forward to getting the program up and running.

“We know there are a lot of resources and support systems in place for people who want help, but most of the time they have to leave Nunavut to receive the support they are looking for and/or that they need.

“I hope this program will fill some of that need closer to home.”