Indigenous youth have ‘nowhere to go’ if North Vancouver treatment centre closes

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Feb 17, 2024 – Lori Culbert/Vancouver Sun

An adolescent treatment centre in North Vancouver has saved the lives of Indigenous youth from four Central Coast communities, and its closing will leave teenagers in the remote communities with “nowhere to go,” a First Nations leader says.

“This is devastating news. You can’t place a value on the quality of care and services for our youth that have come through the Carlile centre,” said Maria Martin, a member of the Heiltsuk Nation in Bella Bella.

The centre sits in the North Vancouver-Lonsdale riding of MLA Bowinn Ma, a cabinet minister in the NDP government, who said she reached out to her colleague, Jennifer Whiteside, the minister of mental health and addictions, after reading about the Carlile’s closing in the newspaper.

“It has certainly alarmed me. I have since connected with community members who know more about what is happening with the program and have discussed their concerns with Minister Whiteside,” she said.

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