Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 21: Health (18-24)

Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation celebrating seven years

April 1, 2024

APTN News: Healing can happen in the bush.

So says the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation of Yellowknife, which is celebrating seven years of operation.

Its land-based camp has been helping Métis, Inuit and Dene clients from remote communities in three territories who are struggling with addiction.

“Four hours sometimes I spend with one person,” says Dene-Métis counsellor Ruth Mercredi. “And (it’s something) just to watch them change while you’re listening to their story.”

Clients spend one to two weeks with the camp before heading south for further treatment.

Executive director Bala Tirupathi says the foundation is completing a study on the feasibility of opening an overnight wellness centre.

“We need some infrastructure in order to provide more and more services,” Tirupathi says. “As you’ve seen, it’s growing because there are days that there are 10 to 15 clients … So it’s pretty challenging for us to facilitate services to them.”

The foundation is also looking to the territorial government for funding for a wellness centre.

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