An addictions and recovery program in northern Saskatchewan will expand its services and operate in the winter, thanks to a provincial grant.
On Tuesday, Saskatchewan's Mental Health and Addictions Minister Everett Hindley announced a financial boost of $337,000 for the Muskwa Lake Wellness Camp, in the form of a one-time grant to Kineepik Métis Local #9.
"The infrastructure upgrades will enable northern residents to access this culturally based wellness program year round," Kimberly Smith, health and wellness manager for the Kineepik Métis Local #9, said in a press release.
The camp is located near the village of Pinehouse, about 710 kilometres north of Regina, and offers land-based health intervention to address alcoholism, suicide rates and overdose deaths in northern communities.
Greater access to services
Hindley said the grant will offer northern residents greater access to services.
"It's vital that people have access to culturally sensitive addictions support that meet their recovery needs," Hindley said in the release.
Smith said the provincial grant will complement other funding the camp has received from parties such as Kineepik Métis Local #9, Northern Village of Pinehouse, and Métis Nation of Saskatchewan.
"The camp is the site of a four-year Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) project, which focuses on unique addictions and recovery programs that recognize the deep connection to the land that is part of Indigenous culture," according to the release.
"The project will focus on developing a culturally responsive model that can inform future programming and be adapted across the province."
Part of the $337,000 funding will go toward winterizing the Muskwa Lake Wellness Camp in order for it to increase its annual intake numbers.
Running year-round would allow the camp to serve as many as 90 people per year.
Under its current capacity, the camp can only welcome 60 clients, in 15-person cohorts, according to the minister's office.