(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.)
I think there is a big difference between engaging Indigenous governments, organizations and residents in creating more appropriate treatment and healing programs and asking them to take over responsibility for the delivery of these programs entirely.
Whether or not funding is attached to the delegation of responsibilities you describe, it would still be an act of “downloading” – of abdicating responsibility for something that is clearly a territorial government responsibility.
There will come a day when Indigenous governments feel they have the capacity to take over the delivery of these essential services, but until that day comes, the GNWT can and must do better!
To do so we absolutely must involve Indigenous partners and develop more culturally appropriate services, but ultimately the buck stops here – this is a GNWT responsibility.