‘Beyond our dreams’: Community celebrates opening of new recovery centre facility

Beatrice Deer performs for crowd at open house that allowed community to tour recovery centre’s new location

Beatrice Deer performs live with her band in front of community members in Kuujjuaq on Thursday for the Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre open house. (Photo by Cedric Gallant)

By Cedric Gallant - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Isuarsivik vice-president Mary Aitchison and president David Forrest give their final thoughts Thursday about the new centre’s grand opening. (Photo by Cedric Gallant)

The Kuujjuaq forum was packed Thursday with community members enjoying a traditional feast that commemorated the end of the Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre’s open house.

“It has been beyond our dreams,” said Mary Aitchison, Isuarsivik’s vice-president. “Our expectations have been surpassed with the response of the community.”

Three long rows of cardboard were laid out on the floor of the forum, with traditional food placed upon them. Everyone sat together to enjoy the feast.

Isuarsivik is Nunavik’s only addictions recovery centre and has functioned for about the past 25 years.

Moving the operations to a new larger facility was a dream 18 years in the making, and didn’t come without its challenges. The budget grew over that time from $7 million to more than $40 million. But Aitchison said she believes it’s been worth it.

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“I always say that the cost of doing nothing is too high,” she said.

The open house ended with a performance by Beatrice Deer, who performed a new song she wrote specifically for the opening of Isuarsivik.

A group enjoys some traditional food Thursday at the Isuarsivik open house. (Photo by Cedric Gallant)

“I am very honoured the people coming to Isuarsivik will be singing this song, and when they graduate they will sing this song,” she said on stage in front of the community.

Just before her appearance, she said, “I have so much respect for Isuarsivik and their mandate. I toured it today, and I was emotional.

“I hope that many people will take advantage of its services.”

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David Forrest, the president of Isuarsivik, walked through the crowd of people, shaking their hands. Everyone congratulated him for the effort he and his board put into the project.

“It brings the region together as a cohesive unit,” Forrest said.

“People now have tools to make people feel like, ‘Maybe I am not that bad of a person, I just have a problem,’ and now there is help out there that I can reach out to.”

Mary Aitchison, left, takes a picture with singer Beatrice Deer before she performs. (Photo by Cedric Gallant)

Isuarsivik planned two grand openings. The first, which took place this week, was just for Nunavimmiut. The second one, planned for September, will allow government officials to tour the building.

Now that Isuarsivik is running, “We have a good core group of young Inuit who have a vision, and their vision is not clouded,” Forrest said.

“It is awesome, and I am glad to be part of that.”


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(8) Comments:

  1. Posted by Truestory on

    Again? How long will this one stay open?

    • Posted by SARCASM on

      Till last call .

      • Posted by Til judge stops sending clients. on

        It going to serve the lawyers and court, far more than Nunavik. So it’ll be open as long as drunks cause problems and the judge continues to do nothing about it, other than ordering programs like treatments.

        • Posted by Bewildered on

          Move along littel doggy

  2. Posted by I love quotes/TGC on

    “courage is the enabling virtue, without courage all of the other virtues are empty” Cornel West.

    • Posted by Quote from Homer Simpson on

      Alcohol, casuse and soultion to all of life s problems !!

      • Posted by Alternative on

        And if alcohol don’t solved your problems, go to the treatment Center for 8 weeks, and you’ll be ready to give alcohol another chance. You’ll even be driven to not finish the 8 weeks and take that other chance early. Oops, you might be a client of a court order, you’ll surely look forward to graduating and get back into treatment again in few months, court ordered.

    • Posted by Not much in Nunavik last time I looked on

      Yes, it’s takes courage to look after kids, and make sacrifices. Too many people would buy booze instead. Takes courage to get an education, don’t seem to be getting enough in Nunavik’s population. Takes courage to be 40 years old and not act 13 or 14. Last time I looked there wasn’t much courage seen. Just immature adults not taking responsibility.


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