Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation
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Posted: Mar 24, 2022






[SAGAMOK ANISHNAWBEK, ON   March 24, 2022]     Sagamok Anishnawbek is pleased to share the announcement of Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo, Ontario Ministry of Health, the approval of 8 Heath Care beds for program delivery at Ritchie Falls Resort.


With the announcement Sagamok Anishnawbek also shares that $1.125 million from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) First Nation Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB), has also been approved to assist with Capital Retrofit in the amount of $625,000 and one time Program Delivery in the amount of $500,000.


Gimaa Alan Ozawanimke of Sagamok said, “We are very pleased to have a place in our territory, on our lands for our people and our families to go to access the wellness programs that they need to successfully address the challenges of substance use so that they can live full, healthy lives in a community that is safe and supportive”. 


Gimaa Ozawanimke said that work will now begin on renovations to the Ritchie Falls Resort to make it suitable for individuals and families to access the programs they need while the programming is prepared for the Family Treatment Centre to open its doors later this year. 


The new family treatment program has a name that came through ceremony.  Referring to the glimmer of hope we feel when we see the shimmer of dancing ice crystals suspending in the cold, crisp air of a winter morning, the new Family Treatment Centre will carry the name “Giwaaseyak” in memory of a young community woman of Sagamok who lost her struggle with substance abuse in the autumn of 2020.  


In this announcement, GImaa Ozawanimke acknowledges the families of the Sagamok community who formed a vision of wellness for their community and involving themselves in developing a plan to address substance use in their community.  He also acknowledges those who listened and worked with families to articulate those visions and plans, including the Sagamok Anishnawbek government and leadership.  


Former Gimaa Paul Eshkakogan was heavily involved in much of the work leading up to today’s announcement.  He commented, “Congratulations and Chi-Miigwetch to the Sagamok Leadership for your continued efforts in moving the substance abuse treatment program forward. This much needed program is a made in Sagamok approach that will help our people overcome addictions and build stronger families and community.”


In hearing of today’s news, Fern Assinewe, now-retired, former Director of Sagamok Anishnawbek’s Community Wellness Department expressed, “I am so happy to hear that Sagamok Anishnawbek will be getting a local treatment facility.  The community has long identified an urgent need for such support for those struggling with addictions and for their families.  So many have generously provided input as the planning evolved and we share great hope for the future.”


“With a focus on programs delivered by community members, for community members, the new Family Treatment Program will be a crucial addition to the Sagamok Anishnawbek community. I want to congratulate Sagamok Anishnawbek on their continued success in empowering community members to determine their own vision and path to wellbeing. This is an important step forward on the road towards Reconciliation and a true partnership, achieved through meaningful dialogue to understand the community’s needs.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
     Minister of Indigenous Services Canada




Media Inquiries are directed to:


Gimaa Alan Ozawanimki

PO Box 610   Massey, ON     P0P 1P0  

(705) 865-2421


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