In the 1980’s, The North Shore Tribal Council and the seven First Nations Communities across the North Shore of Lake Huron had a “vision” to create a culturally based residential treatment centre for community members struggling with alcohol issues. William Toulouse, Elder Sagamok First Nations captured the essence their vision:
“A spiritual base has provided an answer for many Anishnawbek, and could be an answer for more. We need to get back to our culture … We have to look to our beliefs, not to the books of others for solutions to alcoholism.”
In 1990 the Anishnabie Naadmaagi Gamig Substance Abuse Treatment Centre opened its doors as an abstinence based program. Now known as Benbowopka Treatment Centre, it provides a culturally based harm reduction model of services to those seeking residential treatment for substance abuse. Our program is part of a continuum of addictions service being delivered by North Shore Tribal Council.