Kapawe’no breaks ground on $11.2M centre

To be named for Chief Frank Halcrow

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A conceptual drawing shows the new Kapown Rehabilitation Treatment Centre building in Kapawe’no Cree Nation in Grouard.

A project to construct a new modern building at the Kapown Rehabilitation Treatment Centre in Grouard has started.

Kapawe’no Cree Nation broke ground at a sod-turning ceremony June 11 for the building that will be named in honour of the late Hereditary Chief Frank Halcrow, who passed away Jan. 2, 2020.

Chief Sydney Halcrow says “it’s a long time coming” to get the project underway.

“Discussion of the new facility started about 20 years ago by Frank Halcrow,” Chief Halcrow says.

“We give him special homage by honouring his name.”

The current 32-bed building opened in 1983 to serve clients of all cultures.

Sucker Creek Cree Nation Chief Jim Badger echoes much of Halcrow’s message.

“This is a big legacy Frank Halcrow has left,” says Badger, a longtime board member.

“I look forward to the opportunities of the new building.”

Chief Frank T. Halcrow held Kapown very near to his heart, executive director Jennifer Horsnall says.

“It was always his vision to have the best treatment centre in Canada for all Indigenous people,” Horsnall says.

“Without his guidance and forethought, Ka- pown would not be what it is today.”

The $11.2 million project is funded by Indigenous Services Canada.

Special words were expressed from Rhonda Laboucan, Alberta regional executive officer of First Nations and Inuit Health branch of Indigenous Services Canada.

She commended the centre and a community for their commitment to the treatment centre.

“You have done a tremendous job,” Labou- can says.

Laboucan also played a voice recorded message from Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller.

The new building will include a library, several large conference spaces for classrooms and a full-sized commercial kitchen, Horsnall says.

It also will provide space for expand to 62 beds in the future, each with a private bathroom.

Each treatment counsellor will have a separate office and counselling rooms will be available for other mental health professionals including Telehealth.

A library will include access to resources along and computers for the clients to use.

“We will also have family visiting rooms so clients can have a visit in private with their families,” Horsnall says.

Massage therapy will be provided in a treatment room.

“Our goal is to use our existing building as a detox centre for clients coming into our residential treatment,” Horsnall says.

“Detox is extremely hard to get into before treatment.

“So by having our own detox, all our clients will be detoxed before entering residential treatment.”

She says the Kapown centre is unique.

It offers a six-month second-stage program that allows clients to learn life skills after completing their 56 days of residential treatment.

An out-patient program allows clients who cannot attend a residential treatment setting to still take part in treatment while maintaining employment and caring for their children.

“We have had a very positive impact on many clients and that’s why we do what we do,” Horsnall says.

Kapown is an accredited facility that serves more than 300 clients a year from all walks of life.

Ground work has already started and the project is scheduled to be completed by February 2022.

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