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OTTAWA, ON — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the health of global populations, Tungasuvvingat Inuit and Mamisarvik Healing Centre in Ottawa recognize the increased need for culturally-specific substance use treatment to some of Ontario’s most vulnerable populations. Mamisarvik has remained steadfast and resilient as we continue to offer unmatched Inuit-specific treatment for trauma and substance use in Ontario.

Mamisarvik Healing Centre, located in the Hintonburg community of Ottawa, offers residential treatment to Inuit clients with 10 beds, a commercial-grade kitchen, multiple meeting spaces and common areas, cultural spaces and a 24-hour support team.  The services include professional, confidential, non-judgmental recovery for Inuit men and women that are 18 years of age or older.

The centre has continued to offer treatment during the pandemic and has pivoted to navigate unique circumstances amidst the pandemic while experiencing an increased need. The Mamisarvik team maintains strong Inuk wellness leadership that includes Clinical Team Lead, Kelly Morrissey, B.S.W. Morrisey stated, “Mamisarvik Healing Centre has been a leading voice in the development of a client-directed Inuit strategy for what wellness and healing look like in today’s world. Navigating best practice in the wider mental health sphere through an Inuit lens has allowed program development that incorporates Inuit-specific ways of being and knowing with cutting-edge, holistic modalities to support caring for the whole person. As this program was developed by Inuit, for Inuit, it truly takes the perspective of the community into what it means to heal and grow.”

As a result of the pandemic, logistical modifications were required for the well-being of clients and staff while the program remained intact. All COVID-19 protocols have been adapted while clients participate in healing and treatment to acquire necessary coping skills in addressing difficult thoughts, feelings and behaviours, while exploring Inuit perspectives. Community healing is facilitated and supported at Mamisarvik, through IQ principles. The need for Inuit-specific treatment has only increased as a result of the pandemic and Mamisarvik strives to raise awareness about the availability of the program for Inuit.

Intake and Assessment Coordinator, Tara Arnatsiaq-Barnes added, “I invite fellow Inuit to submit applications for this world-class program. My job is to make the application process for the residential treatment program easier. Clients usually have a lot of questions and I will answer those, help with some paperwork and we discuss their journey at Mamisarvik. Through these conversations, we learn more about the client’s story, goals and hobbies, health conditions and make every effort to ensure that Mamisarvik has everything in place specifically for each client to experience a safe and respectful healing space.”

There are many barriers to access Inuit-specific treatment in Ontario. The goal at Mamisarvik is to welcome Inuit to a journey of healing that is respectful, welcoming while offering an environment that offers the ability to heal and change lives. We invite Inuit in Ontario currently struggling with substance use and trauma concerns to contact us about receiving treatment at Mamisarvik Healing Centre. Costs are covered for Inuit in Ontario and we are now accepting new clients for assessment. We are here to walk along side our clients throughout their journey despite the pandemic swirling around us.

For more information about Inuit-specific treatment in Ontario, contact Mamisarvik Healing Centre in Ottawa. Email: or call 613-792-9350

Tungasuvvingat Inuit and Mamisarvik Healing Centre – Where Inuit are welcome.

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MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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