Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory officially opened the new Jiingaabe Noojmoo Gamik Spirit Healing Lodge on Friday.
Executive director Rolanda Manitowabi says a Grand Opening Ceremony was held at the new lodge with various dignitaries taking part.
She says community members were on hand to join in the celebration which included cedar tree planting on site, ribbon cutting, facility tour, feast, round dance and gift giveaways.
She says the new lodge will become a place of gathering, healing and utilizing holistic approaches to help community members.
Jiingaabe Noojmoo Gamik is a special program of Ngwaagan Gamig Recovery Centre Inc.- a milestone initiative of Ngwaagan’s organizational vision to empower individuals and families toward a healthy lifestyle, healing and wellness through education and utilizing cultural holistic approaches.
Manitowabi says the vision of this healing lodge was seen through the eyes and dreams of community leaders and members many years ago. And it’s through all of their commitment, dedication and hard work that we are now living that vision – that dream.
I thank each and every person who helped create our new lodge – a place of togetherness, learning, sharing and healing.
Ogimaa Kwe (Chief) Rachel Manitowabi had words of praise as well.
The continued healing of our Wiikwemkoong community members is of utmost priority for us.
I am proud of our community for having created numerous opportunities focused on bettering the lives and opportunities of our people. And I am also proud to see that our community members are embracing these opportunities for their own health and wellbeing.
Doing this, leads to overall community-wide health and wellbeing. Miigwetch to everyone who helped bring the new Jiingaabe Noojmoo Gamik to life.
The creation of the healing lodge began in 2019 with significant discussion and collaboration among various Wiikwemkoong organizations. And through the hardworking efforts of the design and construction teams, the new healing lodge was completed at the end of 2021.
Wiikwemkoong community members of all ages also came together to name the new lodge: Jiingaabe Noojmoo Gamik – Spirit Healing Lodge. Partnerships were also formed with government to help fund the project. A major partnership was formed with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). Since 2019, ISC has provided over $5.9 million in funding to support this project.
Patty Hajdu, the Minister of Indigenous Services sent her well wishes to the community.
The new Jiingaabe Noojmoo Gamik – Spirit Healing Lodge will deliver critical supports to individuals and their families as community members move towards healing, recovery, and empowerment.
This new facility will help expand both the services provided as well as the positive impacts to the community that Ngwaagan Gamig Recovery Centre provides. I commend everyone involved with this project for their advocacy and determination to make this project a reality.
Rainbow Lodge commenced operations in the community of Wikwemikong in September 1976 as an alcohol treatment centre. In 1992, the organization incorporated as Ngwaagan Gamig Recovery Centre Inc., and began servicing individuals living with alcohol and drug challenges. In 2008, we became accredited and have maintained this status to date through Accreditation Canada. By 2012, the programs and services were modernized, and the treatment centre became recognized as a culturally based polysubstance abuse treatment facility.
Ngwaagan Gamig Recovery “Sharing is Strength” Accredited Since November 2008 Accreditation Canada Centre Inc.’s services include community education and prevention, providing direct services to individuals and family members, counselling, and continuing with residential addictions treatment programming.