'Namgis hereditary Chief Waxawidi

'Namgis hereditary Chief Waxawidi

Celebrating recovery in Port McNeill

Mount Waddington Heath Network’s Addictions Resource Services Plan committee marks the second year of its strategic plan.

PORT McNEILL—Mount Waddington Heath Network’s Addictions Resource Services Plan committee marked the second year of its strategic plan with a dinner and series of presentations that drew 63 participants to the local community hall last Wednesday.

And they drew some lessons from a group that knows a little something about overcoming adversity.

The day kicked off with a screening of the documentary film How a People Live, which traces the history of the Gwa’sala and ‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations from their forced eviction from Smith Inlet and Blunden Harbour and relocation to their current home on Tsulquate Reserve in Port Hardy.

“It clearly emphasized recovery is a community process,” said Kelly Reid, director of operations for Island Health’s Mental Health and Substance Use Services. “It shows how important access to services is for people to be able to keep moving forward on their healing journey.”

Attendees acknowledged last week’s event was held in the traditional territory of the ‘Namgis First Nation, and invited hereditary chief Waxawidi — William Wasden, Jr. — to provide a welcome address and song, backed by other members of the various nations.

Following a catered dinner, presentations were made by Dean Wilson and Katie Walkus of the Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw Child and Family Services Community Addictions Action program; keynote speaker Rick McRae; Sean Junglas and Michael Winter on the Lighthouse Resource Centre’s cold-weather shelter; Island Health’s Shane Thomas on a detox bed pilot project; and the Cormorant Island Supported Recovery Society.