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1st nations addiction centre opens in Qu'Appelle area.

Leading Thunderbird Lodge is a First Nations youth addiction treatment centre located at Fort San, SK.

Established by the File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council and the Touchwood Agency Tribal Council, the treatment centre offers addiction and substance abuse programs to First Nations youth.

Health Canada's First Nations and Inuit Health Branch has provided $1.6 million for facility renovations and will provide about $1.5 million annually for operating costs. The Government of Saskatchewan has provided a one-time $800,000 grant to pay for facility upgrades.

Leading Thunderbird Lodge is part of Health Canada's National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse program and the Youth Solvent Abuse program, which supports a national system of treatment services for First Nations in Canada.

Director of therapy Todd Sojonky said, "The therapeutic program is rooted in the First Nations model of the medicine wheel; a holistic approach to health embracing the mental, spiritual, social and physical aspects of a person, and so each of these areas will be assessed and treated."

A staff of 20 people, including a registered psychologist, social worker, and counsellors, work together with community elders and a traditional advisor to deliver programming under best practice guidelines.

Leading Thunderbird offers a school program delivered by qualified teachers and support staff, and tailored to the individual needs of clients. Clients receive 24-hour supervision by trained staff.

It also has a fully equipped gymnasium and cardiovascular fitness area, a cultural centre, and outdoor area with a sweat lodge, tipi and a volleyball court.
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Title Annotation:SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Publication:Community Action
Date:Oct 15, 2007
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