White Earth celebrates treatment facility for young peopleby Tom Robertson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — White Earth tribal leaders are in Bemidji Wednesday to celebrate the purchase of a 40-acre youth treatment center.
Episcopal Community Services shut down the residential center last year.
White Earth officials plan to reopen the center to provide chemical dependency and mental health treatment for American Indian young people.
Lorna Lague is White Earth's special projects coordinator. She said the facility will provide treatment for boys and girls ages 12 to 18.
"We're so excited about it, because it's a missing component that we feel has been missing. There is nowhere in the state of Minnesota that a youth could go to get holistic treatment, whether it's mental health or CD, in a cultural setting, specifically made for Native American youth. There's not one," Lague said.
White Earth will spend more than $8 million to purchase and renovate the facility. The state Legislature contributed $2 million to the project.
White Earth also received $2 million from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.