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Agricultural Land Commission allows exemption for treatment centre at Tachick Lake

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief Corrina Leween.

The Agricultural Land Commission has approved an Agricultural Land Reserve exemption that will allow the construction of a healing/treatment centre facility at Tachick Lake.

Carrier Sekani Family Services applied for the allowance of a non-farm use on the property.

The location for the facility, what is currently the Tachick Lake Resort, was identified as an optimal site. It has been used as a commercial lodge and campground since the 1960s. This location was chosen after years of due diligence and feasibility studies commissioned by CSFS to identify potential sites for a health and treatment centre to serve local Indigenous people. This facility, currently planned to have 60 beds, will form a much-needed service-delivery model tailored to the unique needs of local Indigenous people that is medically-based and grounded in traditional Carrier and Sekani healing and wellness models.

Planning for this facility was stymied earlier this year by a decision made by the ALC North Panel that denied an application submitted by CSFS for exemption from the ALR or non-farm use.

“We are very happy with the ALC decision to allow ‘non-farm use’ of the property for operations of the Carrier Sekani Family Services addiction recovery program in the new facility, and will continue to serve future generations,” said Corrina Leween, Carrier Sekani Family Services board president and Chief of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation. “The ALC decision allows Carrier Sekani Family Services to move forward in realizing our long-term goals that include healing and treatment that will help address the ongoing opioid and metal health crises that are disproportionately affecting Indigenous people.”

The current addiction recovery program serves both men and women. The current four-week program provides a range of services including grief and loss, trauma, gambling and opioid replacement therapy.

The ALC decision on exclusion approval is subject to some conditions that are achievable for CSFS, including parameters around boundary set-backs, construction guidelines, timelines and requisite communications regarding design and construction.

Next steps for this project will include fundraising for the remaining funds needed to begin construction of the facility and then moving to the design phase of the construction process.

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