British Columbia

Society plans addiction recovery house for Indigenous women in northwest B.C.

The Northern Women's Recovery House Society is applying for grant money in hopes of setting up a second-stage recovery facility the society says would be the first of its kind for women in northwest B.C.

Non-profit trying to get funding for facility to help women stay on track after leaving treatment centres

A non-profit in Terrace, B.C., says the region needs an Indigenous-based addictions healing house for women who have just left treatment centres and need wrap-around support programs. (Shutterstock)

A non-profit society in Terrace, B.C., is trying to make the transition out of addiction treatment centres easier for Indigenous women.

The Northern Women's Recovery House Society is applying for grant money in hopes of setting up a second-stage recovery facility the society says would be the first of its kind for women in northwest B.C.

Residents would participate in a 12-step, abstinence-based program for a few months while building life skills to help maintain their sobriety long term. 

Valerie Wright, chair of the society's board of directorssaid the plan is to open a space that would provide a wide array of services for the women, including group therapy, life skills counselling, an anger management course and leisure programs like meditation and yoga.

She said the programming will be culturally sensitive and acknowledge and deal with traumatic experiences specific to Indigenous women.

'Well-briety'

In the 1980s, Wright was a board member of the Breton House in Ste. St. Marie, Ont., a second-step recovery home where eight to 10 women participate in a 12-step sobriety program while also taking part in leisure and wellness activities, which Wright calls "well-briety".

She said the Breton House model was a success and many women were relieved to be able to stay somewhere close to their families, rather than leaving their home communities.

"We saw a lot more people in recovery and sustaining that recovery and I believe we can do the same here," Wright told CBC's Daybreak North

According to Wright, the facility will be made available to all women, but about 70 per cent of residents will be Indigenous.

Wright said the society is currently raising funds and applying for grants before preparing a feasibility study and business plan for the project.

The society is planning a community garage sale on Oct. 25-26 at Zion Baptist Church in Terrace.

With files from Daybreak North