Harm Reduction and Land-Based Healing

The Harm Reduction Program aims to help keep our loved ones safe and offer positive change through minimizing harms. Our Coordinator is available to make presentations and deliver harm reduction supplies free of charge. The Land-Based Healing Fund is part of our holistic harm reduction approach and it provides opportunities for those struggling with substance use to seek healing on the land.

Why we created this program:

Hundreds of years of colonial oppression through harmful structures, policies, and laws have disconnected us from our lands, culture, medicines, ceremonies, and relations. This continues to cause post-traumatic stress disorder and intergenerational trauma. The devastating effects are seen in the high rates of addiction that affects our people and communities.

More than 32,000 Canadians have died of toxic drug overdoses since 2016, according to data released by Health Canada in December 2022. More than 3,500 people died of overdoses in the first half of 2022 (data is available only to June 2022). That’s almost 20 people per day, and the losses are devastating families and communities. Together, we need to do more.

What is harm reduction? 

Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas. SCO’s harm reduction approach aims to keep loved ones who are impacted by substance use safe, offering love and support, minimizing the harms associated with substance use and supporting them on their healing journey.

Anishinaabe and Dakota harm reduction is based on truth, love, respect, courage, honesty, wisdom, and humility. It is strengths-based, destigmatized, and inclusive.

Guiding principles for harm reduction:

  • Everyone is worthy of love and respect and has the right to be treated with dignity and kindness.
  • People who use drugs decide what their goals are.
  • Relationships and trust are nurtured so that people who use drugs are able to ask for help if they would like to stop.
  • Quality of life improves when people who use drugs feel connected to community.
  • If someone is not able to, or doesn’t want to stop using substances, let’s protect them while they use.

Request support for harm reduction:

SCO has a harm reduction specialist on staff who is able to provide harm reduction supplies such as fentanyl test strips, nasal Narcan, and safer sex supplies, at no cost. This specialist is also available to make presentations that can help to promote destigmatize and raise awareness around the importance of using a harm reduction approach when working with First Nations citizens living with addictions issues. 

To make these requests, please contact us via email: harmreduction@scoinc.mb.ca

What is land-based healing?

Land-based describes a First Nations way of life rooted in traditional knowledge, where everything is connected and related to the land and water. It is a key concept for understanding First Nations views on mental wellness, which cannot be separated from emotional, physical, and spiritual health or the land itself.

Being on the land itself heals. This traditional knowledge supports the many health and healing benefits of spending time in the outdoors, including improved cognition, memory, and mood.

Land-based activities can include berry picking, hunting or snaring, trapping, fishing, picking traditional medicines, tanning hides, and many others.

What is the SCO Land-Based Healing Fund? 

SCO’s Land-Based Healing Fund of up to $25,000 is available to SCO-member Anishinaabe and Dakota communities and community organizations that want to offer or augment land-based healing programs for their members struggling with substance use disorders.

Relearn why we love the land

Revitalize our family and community connections

Reclaim our health and well-being

Land-based programs re-establish our spiritual connection with the land through recognition that all of Creation – the animals, plants, and rocks are all related and interconnected. The land is both a teacher and healer that can guide us towards a life of wellness. Healing takes place when we strengthen our attachments to the land and reconnect with our culture.

SCO’s Land-Based Healing Fund acknowledges that First Nation leaders, Healers, Elders, and Knowledge Keepers are the experts on our traditional territories and that land-based healing programs build community wellness and must be locally led.

Grants of up to $25,000 are available to assist SCO-member First Nation communities and community organizations in providing land-based healing for those struggling with substance use disorders.

Apply for funding from the Land-Based Healing Fund:

You can access our application form by clicking here.

For more information, contact us by:

Phone: 204-946-1869

Toll free: 1-866-876-9701

Email: harmreduction@scoinc.mb.ca

Addictions Resources

Native Addiction Council

160 Salter St. Winnipeg, MB

5-week in-house healing program

No fee

Recovery and follow-up day program

Phone: 204-586-395

Intake Email: intake@nacm.ca

Peguis Al-Care Treatment Centre

Peguis, MB

6-week or 8-week residential treament program

No fee

Recovery, personal growth, land-based healing

Phone: 204-645-2666

Mikaaming Mino Pimatiziwin Healing Lodge

Sagkeeng, MB

7-week traditional and holistic residential treament program

No fee

Phone: 204-367-2172

Email: reception@familytreatment.ca

Bruce Oake Recovery Centre

255 Hamilton Ave. Winnipeg, MB

16-week residential treatment program

Fee based on income

Phone: 431-996-6253

Email: info@bruceoakerecovery.ca

Behavioral Health Foundation

35 Ave de la Digue St. Norbert, MB

Program length open ended, based on treatment prograss

No fee if eligible for Employment and Income Assitance

$450 a month if not eligible of Employment and Income Assistance

Phone: 204-269-3430

Intake Email: BPintake@bhf.ca

Migisi Alcohol and Drug Treatment Centre

109 Migisi Rd. Kenora, ON

4-week residential program

Offers traditional resources

No fee

Phone: 807-548-5959

Email: migisitreatmentcentre@bellnet.ca

Mino Ayaa Ta Win Healing Centre

Watten Township, Fort Frances, ON

28-day residential treatment program

Traditional healing treaments

Supervised detox services

No Fee

Phone: 807-274-7373