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A place for healing: Gitpo Spirit Lodge tries new way to help people with addictions – CBC

by ahnationtalk on July 27, 202369 Views

July 27, 2023

The project at Natoaganeg First Nation has received $1.2 million from Health Canada

At Natoaganeg First Nation next to the powwow grounds, the Miramichi River glistened under the sun.

Looking out on the water from the picture window in the Gitpo Spirit Lodge, Roger Augustine reflected on what makes the space perfect for healing.

“This place here is just — it’s ideal,” Augustine said. “Everyone that’s been here the past couple of years has said, ‘I can feel the peace here.’ … We have the sweat lodge out there and eagles flying around here all the time.”

Augustine, a former regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations and of Natoaganeg, also known as Eel Ground First Nation, is the president of the spirit lodge and for years has been committed to reduce the harm associated with drug and alcohol use.

When he was 28 years old, Augustine was struggling himself.

“I lost, you know, not only material things, but my family,” he recalled. “I had nothing. Not even driver’s licence, not even a job.

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