Gwich’in wellness camp set to reopen this winter, says grand chief

Gwich’in Tribal Council (GTC) Grand Chief Ken Kyikavichik, left, with Sharla Greenland, GTC’s director of nation building and self-determination, at the Inuvik Arctic Development Expo on Tuesday. (Dez Loreen/CBC)

By Dez Loreen · CBC News 

The Gwich’in wellness camp, which has been shut down for more than a decade, will be opening again this winter.

The camp is located 15 kilometres from Inuvik, N.W.T., and is only accessible by boat or ice road.

Gwich’in leaders gave an update on the camp Tuesday during the Arctic Development Expo in Inuvik.

After a long hiatus and a lot of behind the scenes work, the camp is undergoing updates to its layout and programming.

Gwich’in Tribal Council (GTC) Grand Chief Ken Kyikavichik said he wants the camp to be a place for people to get out of the cycles of addiction or trauma that they are experiencing and connect with the land again.

“So if people need to detox or if they need to get some help, there are counsellors out there with an Indigenous lens,” he said.

“They can go cut some wood, they can go set a net, get back to their on-the-land activities because people know that we get well back out on the land.”

The camp previously operated from 2008 to 2012.

Sustainable initiatives 

Sharla Greenland is the director of nation building and self-determination for the GTC.

She says improvements, like a new biomass furnace, will make the camp more affordable which is a reason it closed previously.

“So that’s the phase we are in right now, we’re just redoing much of the system upgrades from an environmental and sustainable lens,” said Greenland.

Solar panels were installed at the campsite to make the best use of the technology.

Greenland says programming is being finalized and will be announced this winter.

A name change is also planned for the wellness camp.

Kyikavichik said a committee will be formed to decide on the new name. He told the crowd at the Arctic Development Expo on Tuesday morning that the name might be a Gwich’in term or named after a deceased community member.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: ‘It gives people a purpose’: This Inuit wellness project just won a $1M prize, CBC News

CBC News

For more news from Canada visit CBC News.

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *