The Native Addictions Council of Manitoba is located at:160 Salter Street
R2W 4K1 Phone: 204-586-8395 Fax: 204-589-3921
Office hours are Monday to Friday, from 8:30AM until 4:30PM.
The major impetus for the creation of the Native Alcoholism Council of Manitoba was a tragic, alcohol-related accident which occurred in 1968. On May 10, 1968 on Highway 59, south of Brokenhead, an accident claimed the lives of nine people. The lone survivor was confined to a wheelchair and thirty-three children were left orphaned. This incident was the latest in a number of alcohol-related cases that affected many native communities in Manitoba.
This accident highlighted the need for a more directed approach in dealing with alcoholism in native communities across Manitoba. In 1971, on November 18 and 19, a two day conference was held in Winnipeg to discuss the problem. It was resolved that the Native Alcoholism of Manitoba be formed as an organization. On February 21, 1972, with the help of a grant from the Local Initiative Program (LIP), ten employees were hired to survey what needed to be done to combat this problem. On March 1, 1972, NACM set up its first office in a garage at 147 James Avenue in Winnipeg. On July 19, 1972, the Native Alcoholism Council of Manitoba was officially incorporated under Provincial Bill 74. Its main purposes, as set out in Bill 74, were to provide for, assist in, or arrange for the provision of:
- Adequate counselling to the relatives facing chemical depencency and compulsion.
- Educational material in schools.
- Dissemination of information respecting the recognition and treatment for the indigenous alcoholic.
- A province wide alcoholism program that would endeavor to control and prevent alcoholism or problem drinking among Native and Metis communities.
The Department of Health and Social Development began funding Project Outreach when the LIP grant ended in 1973. The NACM relocated to 865½ Main Street that year. From its main office in Winnipeg, NACM ran an outreach program that covered the province of Manitoba with energetic workers in such communities as Norway House, Easterville, Rossburn, Pegius, Fisher River, Little Black River, Brokenhead, Selkirk, Brandon Dauphin and Winnipeg. As well, NACM also accommodated people for treatment from other provinces.
Also in 1973, the United Church of Canada donated to NACM the use of a house at 456 Pritchard Avenue. It was there that the Pritchard House Residential Treatment Program began operation on August 5, 1973. This was the first Native-run treatment center of its kind in Canada.
In 1975, NACM received funding from the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP). With the decentralization of the NNADAP programs in 1982, most of NACM’s offices and services in these communities were scaled back or eliminated. NACM was left with a fraction of its budget.
In 1984, NACM acquired a building at 160 Salter Street in Winnipeg. The new accommodations provided for more office space, recreational facilities for clientele, meeting rooms and room for more programs. The Pritchard House Treatment Program relocated to the new facilities in 1985 when renovations were complete.
Through the years, NACM has kept up with the changing face of addictions. In addition to Alcohol, the use of recreational and street drugs also became prevalent. Both studies and experience were showing us that for many individuals there were also cross-addictions to consider in treatment. Besides Alcohol, Cannabis, Cocaine, Opioids, Hallucinogens, Inhalants, Tobacco and Amphetamines, other addictive substances and behaviours need to be taken into account as well. To more accurately reflect its programs and clientele, NACM officially changed its name to the “Native Addictions Council of Manitoba” in 1994.
In 1997, with a grant from the Local Area Management Board (LAMB), NACM ran the “Gambling Addictions Training Program” at Red River College. Nine out of the ten students graduated as Gambling Addiction Counsellors. Without additional funding, NACM managed to provide specialized services for Gambling Addictions alongside its other programs from 1997 until 2004.
Since 2000, NACM has been accredited through Accreditation Canada as a Health Service Provider. NACM was one of the first treatment centers in Manitoba to achieve accreditation. Accreditation ensures that, for a treatment centre, all contingencies are taken into consideration and all procedures are well documented. It is also recognised with the same accredited status as any hospital that is also accredited.
From 2004 until 2010, with funding from the Aboriginal Healing Foundation (AHF), NACM ran the “Women’s and Youth Sage Healing Program”. This program sought to provide residential school survivors and their families with healing. Prior to this, addictions services for youth were limited with a part time youth worker available.
Since 2010, NACM counsellors and attendants have been certified as addictions specialists by the First Nations Wellness/Addictions Certifications Board (The Indigenous Certification Board of Canada) and CCPC Global Inc. This is in addition to the other qualifications staff may already have, such as Social Work Degrees.
NACM continues to innovate to meet the needs of the Peoples it serves, to interact with the community and to educate all about chemical depencency and compulsion. In recent years we have added many initiatives:
- Native Crafting Classes
- Sobriety Powwow
- Kukum’s Camp for families, youth & children
- Sobriety Walk
- Student Placement for University of Manitoba and Red River College
- Public Service Announcements on radio for Addictions Awareness
In February 2021, NACM celebrated 49 years of service to the First Peoples of Canada.