Thursday, August 1, 2019

NACM Pritchard House - Performs Like a Sloth

Native Addictions Council of Manitoba (NACM) also known as Pritchard House is a residential and outreach treatment program in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  NACM has a long history and a strong legacy of determined people looking to help the Indigenous community. NACM celebrated 47 years of operation this winter. Pritchard House is located in the city's north end, an impoverished neighbourhood. The Centre was once a Catholic hospital and it is a very old building.

There is no doubt in the long history of NACM many people have been helped. The staff and management have good intentions when it comes to working at the Centre. The philosophy of the program is to utilize the Alcoholics Anonymous and some Anishinaabe Traditional Teachings. The effectiveness of AA and Treatment in general has always been subject to criticism. Regardless there are people who have managed to stay away from alcohol with help from Treatment.

So what is the problem with NACM? Is there even an issue there? The issue with NACM is that it has become an isolated island. There are a few island kingdoms: Manitoba Metis Federation, Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre, Aboriginal Centre Winnipeg, Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre. Each kingdom has advantages and disadvantages. With NACM the isolation has become one of the weaknesses.

NACM is not an entity that plays well with others. The Indigenous population in Manitoba and inWinnipeg is large. Many organizations have popped up to serve the Indigenous population.  These organizations talk to each other, network, refer to each other and support each other. NACM does not involve itself in the local Indigenous community or the larger Indigenous community. If NACM was a castle it would be surrounded by a moat. In a way it is good because NACM can operated without interference and political drama. However, as a vital resource in the community, it is really lacking.

The City of Winnipeg and the Indigenous population is being crippled and crushed by the addiction to meth. The Indigenous community and the Main stream community is actively looking at ways to battle the Meth attack. NACM has been and is invisible with the current situation. It seems they have become comfortable, slow, and disinterested in the ailing community. Why is this? Why are they not reaching out to the Indigenous community, the health community, the first responders and political powers in an effort to help? Why is it no one in the health community, the political community, the wellness community, the addiction prevention community, will even reach out to NACM?

It is because NACM has become a sloth. No creativity, no emotional investment, no engagement, and no community ties. At one time there was a community interest, community investment but it is no longer the case. NACM has become an isolated castle (although old) and has lost touch with the community it serves. Now it literally revolves a small closed group of individuals.
Really a shame when it has the potential to be part of the network needed to take on the meth addiction, now killing our people.

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