The five-bed supported recovery Letwilc ren Semec Centre at the community of Esk’etemc (Alkali Lake), seen here in 2017 when it was being built, is presently reviewing applications for residents to move in as early as the third week in February. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Long awaited after-care recovery centre ready to open in Esk’etemc (Alkali Lake)

Centre to offer three to six month stays

One of the Interior’s newest recovery centres should be ready to accept applicants as early as the third week in February.

Esk’etemc (Alkali Lake) Chief Fred Robbins said a committee is reviewing applications for the first three people wanting to stay at the five-bed supported Letwilc ren Semec Centre which is in his community and translates as “Heal My Spirit.”

“We are having a soft start with just three people,” Robbins said. “It is an after-care recovery centre for people who go to treatment but don’t want to go home right away because there may still be alcohol and drugs in the home. They have the opportunity to stay at our recovery centre from three to six months and if there is an opportunity we can accept them for another three to six months, but they still have to go through the application process.”

Robbins said a caretaker has moved in, there is a nurse on staff, and the committee reviewing the applications is made up of representation from First Nations Health Authority, Interior Health Authority and the community of Esk’etemc.

During the last month, the committee has developed procedures and policies for the centre and anyone working at the centre will have to undergo a criminal record check, adhere to strict protocols and follow the procedures and policies.

“It is a fully-functioning facility and we will be providing other opportunities for them to be successful,” he said.

There is funding available for people living at the recovery centre to access training programs through the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, Sage training and the Cariboo Chilcotin Aboriginal Training Employment Centre, he added.

“They can also attend self-esteem workshops, drug and alcohol workshops and other services to improve their lives if they want to get a job after they leave.”

A unique aspect of the new recovery centre will be its location and access to opportunities already existing in the community, such as weekly AA meetings for women and men, a men’s wellness group and a women’s wellness group.

“We have sweat lodges up and down the creek,” Robbins said. “Anything to do with our culture and our traditions and our identity is seated well in our community. People will have an opportunity to experience the Esk’etemc traditions and cultures for four to six weeks and along the same lines they will be searching for their own identity and their own spirituality and their own culture.”

Read more: Film about Esk’etemc premieres June 21 in Williams Lake

Recovery residents will be free to come and go as they please, but will need to be checked in at a certain time.

“They will be provided with an opportunity to be successful in their sobriety and that also includes an education program if they want to pursue it.”

Robbins said he began pushing for a recovery centre back in 2002 and it is “good to see it come to full circle.”

Built by Zirnhelt Timber Frames Ltd. of 150 Mile House, the 6,800-square-foot-centre is a net-zero facility.

Former Chief Charlene Belleau pushed for funding of the centre.

During a blessing of the building in September 2017, Belleau said Esket has been at the forefront for the last 40 years dealing with healing and sobriety, but never had a facility.

“We’ve taken our people to our meadows and our old offices, but it was always with whatever we had that we made do,” Belleau said at the time.

Read more: Dream of recovery centre comes to fruition for Esk’etemec First Nation

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Parade of Choirs to grace the stage at Cariboo Bethel Church March 3

The annual and much beloved Parade of Choirs is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 3.

PHOTOS: Scout Island view from a reader’s lens

Scout Island is a great place to escape and enjoy nature

Norman Foote returns to the lakecity

Popular comedic singing taking part in Nesika Elementary fundraiser

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Man wanted for sex trafficking, confinement may be heading to B.C.

Kevin Myrthil, 26, is also accused of assault on a 19-year-old woman at an Edmonton hotel

Northern B.C. train derailment due to broken axle could happen again: TSB

CN coal train derailment caused by broken axle can happen again without a different way to inspect

Most Read