Media Centre

Recovery Centre Coming to Nunavut

August 19, 2019 — Iqaluit, Qikiqtaaluk Region NU — Government of Nunavut,  Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Indigenous Services Canada

Improving mental wellness for Inuit in Nunavut means providing better access to care that is culturally appropriate, closer to home, effective, and sustainable.

The Partnership Table on Health, the Government of Nunavut, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated and Government of Canada’s came together to sign a joint declaration of intent for the construction and operations of a Nunavut Recovery Centre which will provide treatment in Nunavut for addictions and trauma.

Many Nunavummiut continue to struggle with the impacts of historical and intergenerational trauma, as well as addictions and substance misuse.  The Nunavut Recovery Centre will provide a range of treatment and healing interventions that will address both addictions and trauma, and will be founded on  Inuit cultural practices and values. Clinical counseling services will also be incorporated. The Recovery Centre is part of a system wide approach that includes on the land treatment and healing, as well as support for Inuit workforce development and capacity.

With this Recovery Centre being located in Iqaluit, it will also welcome pregnant women from across Nunavut to provide them with access to tools, information and resources to support their healing journey even before the birth of their child, so as to contribute to other available services to help prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

This Centre is addressing the need for a comprehensive, system-wide approach to healing, substance use and trauma treatment in Nunavut, as was identified in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action #21 and the Qikiqtani Truth Commission’s recommendation #2. The approach has been developed based on the feasibility study endorsed by the Government of Nunavut, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated and the Government of Canada in February 2018.

This announcement stems from the work of the Nunavut Partnership Table on Health. The leadership of this table ensures that services will be Inuit-led and informed, and include a family-based approach that builds on cultural strengths and Inuit societal values. The joint declaration of intent outlines the commitment of all partners to support

Inuit in defining and taking action on their health priorities, and promotes culturally relevant approaches which are informed by strong partnerships at the community and territorial level.

The Government of Canada is committed to a renewed Inuit-Crown relationship to make progress on the issues that are most important, including health and wellness.



“The Government of Nunavut welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with the Government of Canada and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. in the creation of Nunavut’s Recovery Centre for substance use and trauma treatment in the territory. This partnership will foster culturally appropriate approaches to improve treatment opportunities for Inuit, and support the Department of Health in their commitment to education, outreach and prevention of substance misuse in the territory.”

The Honourable George Hickes

Minister of Health Government of Nunavut


“Overcoming the legacy of colonization requires the best of both cultural care and clinical care. The Nunavut Recovery Centre will do that with individuals and their families, in Inuktut, thanks to all of our organizations working together. The Centre will be built in Iqaluit to ensure pregnant women seeking treatment will also have access to regular prenatal care, with the aim to prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.”

Aluki Kotierk

President of Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated


Today we move towards improving access to culturally safe and appropriate health services closer to home that are effective and sustainable. This partnership highlights how we can work together to improve the health of Inuit.

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Indigenous Services


Quick Facts

  • The feasibility study, which was conducted through a consultative process as per Article 32 of the Nunavut Agreement, outlines the need for a three pillar approach:
    • Pillar #1: Enhanced community-based programming offering on-the-land healing camps and other in-community supports;
    • Pillar #2: A Recovery Centre located in Nunavut to provide residential treatment and outpatient services; and
    • Pillar #3: Development of an Inuit workforce that can staff both on-the-land healing camps as well as the Nunavut Recovery Centre.
  • Funding commitments of the Parties as described below for the made-in-Nunavut approach to Substance Use and Trauma Treatment are subject to each Party securing the appropriate funding authorities according to their respective budgetary requirements. Successful and timely implementation is conditional on all Parties securing their respective financial and in-kind contributions, and meeting their defined commitments.
  • A federal contribution of up to $47.5 million over five years to support the Recovery Centre is inclusive of:
    • Up to 75% of capital costs; and
    • Funding to support the ongoing operation of the Nunavut Recovery Centre – after the initial five years, a contribution of up to $9.7 million annually.
  • Government of Nunavut will provide:
    • Up to 30% over five years towards the capital costs of the Recovery Centre;
    • 100% of costs associated with enhanced community-based programming offering on-the-land healing camps and other in-community supports; and
    • Support for ongoing operations and maintenance of the Recovery Centre and Staff Housing.
  • The Makigiaqta Inuit Training Corporation is providing $11.85M over five years to fund the Inuit Counselling component of the Inuit Workforce Development pillar.
  • This announcement is a tangible example of the types of innovation in the work of the Nunavut Partnership Table on Health in the development of Inuit specific approach to health and wellness.
  • This initiative will support Inuit in defining and taking action on unique mental wellness needs and priorities of Nunavut communities, as well as culturally relevant approaches that are informed by strong partnerships at the community and territorial level.


Associated Links

Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated

Government of Nunavut

National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy

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For more information, media may contact:


Government of Nunavut

Alison Griffin

Manager of Communications

Department of Health



Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated

Malaya Mikijuk
Assistant Director of Communications



Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated

Qajaaq Ellsworth
Senior Communications Advisor, President’s Office

867- 975-4900

Kevin Deagle

Press Secretary

Office of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan

Minister of Indigenous Services



Media Relations

Indigenous Services Canada



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