‘Time to say goodbye’: Isuarsivik bids adieu to old building

Recovery centre hosting farewell reception Friday afternoon in 80-year-old facility

There is a goodbye reception scheduled for Friday at the Isuarsivik recovery centre building, pictured here in this file photo, as recovery programming moves to a new facility. (File photo by Sarah Rogers)

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre is saying one last goodbye to its old building in Kuujjuaq after decades of use.

The centre, which provides substance abuse rehabilitation services to Nunavimmiut, is in the process of moving into a new building that is set to open later this year.

Isuarsivik’s board of directors have not decided on a future for the old building, which is 80 years old.

The soon-to-be vacated property shows its age, according to George Kauki, the recovery centre’s Inuit values and practices co-ordinator.

“The heating system is failing,” he said.

“The building is so old that I think it’s a good time to say goodbye.”

The old Isuarsivik building dates back to the Second World War.

According to the centre’s website, it was built by the United States government in 1943. In its early years, it was used to provide housing for soldiers.

In the early 1990s, the building served as a recovery centre for people in Kuujjuaq before it became a regional recovery centre.

The new building will have a much larger capacity than its predecessor, Kauki said. The old building had nine beds while the new one will have more than 25.

The new building will also have the space to provide more programming and will be able to house the families of clients so they don’t have to recover alone.

Despite its condition, Kauki said the old building has helped so many people in the region get the recovery support they needed, and it should be remembered for that.

“This was the only place that was able to offer the services,” he said.

“We all have to evolve, and this is how Isuarsivik has evolved.”

As the new Isuarsivik building continues to be furnished and connected to its IT system, and while more than a dozen new staff members get trained, some adieus are in order.

Isuarsivik is planning a farewell party at the old centre Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. Former Isuarsivik staff, clients, board members and collaborators have been invited to enjoy a snack and a warm beverage, while closing a chapter in its history.

“Come enjoy a cup of tea and say your last goodbye to the centre,” Kauki said.

“We just want to say farewell, and thank the building that has provided a lot of help with the region.”


The new Isuarsivik building in Kuujjuaq is pictured here as it appears in January 2023. (Photo by Cedric Gallant, special to Nunatsiaq News)

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(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by curious george on

    Isuarsavik translated to English. I wonder what it means, the MS translator seems not to have it in the data base.

  2. Posted by Godzilla on

    An unofficial, speaking from your heart and feeling well afterwards.

    • Posted by Kuutjuamiuq on

      Good old American Base Staffhouse/Transport Canada Staff House, where late Annie & Mary Duncan were the first Inuit cleaning ladies whom put their heart and worked there.

      For sure, they received good treats after each day working.

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