The NWT government said on Wednesday it is now accepting applications for new addictions recovery and aftercare funding.
The Department of Health and Social Services said the fund allows Indigenous governments and community organizations to hire community-based councillors to support addictions recovery and aftercare programs.
Indigenous governments with or pursuing self-government agreements will have priority access to the funding until September 1. Remaining funding will be available to community governments and non-government organizations on a first-come, first-served basis until March 31, 2022.
A total of $780,000 is available with a maximum of $68,000 per applicant.
The NWT government says increasing the number and variety of culturally respectful, community-based mental health and addictions programs, including aftercare, is a priority.
While some politicians and residents have called for a northern-based treatment centre, health minister Julie Green has stood behind the territory’s policy of sending residents to treatment centres in the south. She said those institutions are more cost-effective and can better meet the needs of people living with addictions.
Green has said the territory should instead focus on aftercare, on-the-land programs, a managed alcohol program, and a medical detox model.
In February, the NWT government launched a survey about addictions recovery services to help inform changes to its mental wellness and addictions recovery system.