The Nunavut Recovery Centre, to be built in Iqaluit is expected to be completed in two years, by Jan. 2025, and expects to have occupancy by the following spring, according to Nunavut’s department of health.

The federal government announced funding for the Nunavut Recovery Centre in August 2021, with construction expected to start during the 2022 construction season, however that got delayed due to Covid-19, according to officials at the department of health.

“The pandemic caused delays as consultations required to inform planning and detailed design for the building were not able to take place as originally planned. The capital project itself, once commenced, will run on plan with construction to start this coming summer,” Nadine Purdy, communications officer with Nunavut’s department of health.

The training of Inuit counsellors, spearheaded by Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) continues to make progress.

NTI hired a program director and program advisor under its one-time $5 million contribution to oversee the Nunavut addiction and trauma treatment system. This advisor is located in Rankin Inlet.

The addiction and trauma treatment system will be for those seeking treatment closer to their own communities. A part of that system is a planned 28-day land program.

Training for this took place in Nov. 2022 in the form of five-day facilitator training, co-hosted by NTI and the Nunavut government. Clyde River’s Ilisaqsivik, Rankin Inlet’s Palaarvik Kablu Friendship Centre and the Cambridge Bay Wellness Centre are expected to be delivering the programming. Other organizations who attended this are Iqaluit’s Tukisigiarvik, Pangnirtung’s Sailivik and Arviat’s Aqqiumavvik.

Despite this, NTI has also seen its own delays for the Nunavut Recovery Centre, namely who will ultimately be running it.

“Program development for the Nunavut Recovery Centre has been delayed due to governance not being determined at this time. This means NTI is also delayed in hiring to fulfill a part of NTI’s $5 million commitment to increase Inuit workforce by training and on the job experience,” said Kevin Kablutsiak, director of communications at NTI.

Despite delays in establishing governance, NTI is moving forward with its plan to hire program designers to assist in the development of programming that will establish and sustain Inuit leadership and participation in the addiction and trauma treatment system.

“This will be done, in part, through the creation of program development for the Nunavut Recovery Centre,” said Kablutsiak, “aiding in the creation of the overall programming, policies, procedures, organizational charts and staffing plans necessary to ensure Inuit are employed by the Nunavut Recovery Centre, both in pre and post-care.”

These positions are also expected to have individual learning plans to provide training/mentorship to help development experience, technical knowledge and leadership skills in particular areas of interest.

“This is to provide the opportunity of on-going employment within the Nunavut Recovery Centre or other areas of addiction and trauma treatment within Nunavut,” he added.

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