Poundmaker’s Lodge is known as Canada’s first addictions treatment centre specifically for Indigenous clients. It has been in operation for more than 40 years. Poundmaker’s Lodge was named after Chief Poundmaker (Pitikwahanapiwiyin) of Saskatchewan, a prominent leader of the Treaty 6 territory, who was known for his wisdom and leadership.
The Establishment of Poundmaker’s Lodge
It is to the credit of a concerned group of Indigenous people in the early 1970s who worked to lobby governments for support of their vision. Fully aware of how social problems were affecting Indigenous people, but more specifically the devastating impacts of alcohol and drugs they formed a society to address these concerns. The first signatories to the society’s bylaws signed on April 4, 1973 were Wilton Littlechild, Christine Daniels (deceased), Madeline Stout, Kathleen Anderson, and Louis Halfe (deceased). These visionary people need to be acknowledged for their legacy that lives on and also to Eric Shirt and Eric Stamp whose tireless work for the society resulted in the opening of the treatment program in a small house in downtown Edmonton with 14 beds and seven (7) staff.
Everyone is Welcome!
It is also important to note that while our program focuses on Indigenous culture and spirituality, its principles are universal. Clients from all cultures, traditions and faiths are welcome.
Within a year or so the program was relocated to the site of the former Edmonton Indian Residential School near St. Albert. The treatment program operated in the school until 1984 when a new centre was built on the same site where it has provided continuous addictions treatment since. The name was changed to Poundmakers Lodge Treatment Centres (PLTC) in 2000 to reflect current operations.
National and International Clients
Over time, Poundmaker’s Lodge Treatment Centres has earned a reputation for helping Indigenous people overcome the effects of addiction and improve Indigenous health outcomes. Groups from around the globe have participated in treatment, studied our methods, and applied them to programs in their own countries. We continue to welcome international clients.
May the Creator guide and strengthen each of us in our commitment to develop and deliver a high quality, holistic treatment experience that is based on FNMI concepts and spirituality which will empower all people to recover from their addictions.
Healthy communities are free from addictions and support balanced lifestyles