New Partnership Brings Improved Access to Addiction Treatment for Indigenous Communities

With a growing number of people experiencing substance use challenges, the need for increased access to high-quality addiction treatment has never been greater in Ontario. A new partnership between Renascent and M’Wikwedong Indigenous Friendship Centre (MIFC) is creating easier and faster access to life-changing addiction treatment for members of the Indigenous Communities of Owen Sound and the surrounding areas.

Through this unique partnership, Renascent and MIFC have worked together to customize Renascent’s government-funded Virtual Intensive Treatment Program (VITP) to deliver addiction treatment to groups of Indigenous clients who are trying to cope with a substance use disorder.

MIFC and Renascent adapted the virtual program specifically to serve members of this Community by including core aspects of Indigenous culture and spirituality, creating a holistic and authentic approach to each person’s recovery.  In this partner model, Renascent counsellors deliver the core VITP programming, and MIFC spiritual elders and knowledge keepers deliver the spiritual, cultural and traditional healing sessions in an in person community based setting. The sessions include Indigenous-aligned programming, support groups and therapeutic modalities.

“Renascent is excited about this new partnership with M’Wikwedong Indigenous Friendship Centre. We are wholly committed to making addiction treatment more accessible to underserved and marginalized communities, and we value working with the MIFC team as partners, to better meet the needs of Indigenous people in the communities they serve,” said Laura Bhoi, CEO, Renascent. “Renascent’s Virtual Intensive Treatment Program was designed to make addiction treatment more easily accessible to people across Ontario, and we are committed to finding ways to break down systemic barriers.”

While the most common method of accessing Renascent’s VITP, is through online participation in one’s home, through MIFC, attendance looks a bit different. Participants meet in-person at a shared room at MIFC’s location in Owen Sound and are able to use MIFC’s computers to access both group and individual counselling sessions delivered  virtually by Renascent Counsellors. This fosters an even greater sense of connection and community among Indigenous clients and to the program. Program participants are also able to receive additional support and resources from MIFC to enhance their recovery.

“M’Wikwedong is quite proud to host this unique partnership program with Renascent which was initiated by our dedicated staff, Hollie Black and Conrad Ritchie, to bring a much needed accessible treatment option into our community,” Renee Abram, Executive Director, M’Wikwedong Indigenous Friendship Centre. “Making such a program available locally and within the Friendship Centre has created a safe and culturally sensitive environment that increases the possibility for success. It is our hope that this program and partnership will continue and provide the groundwork for other Centres to adopt similar partnerships of healing.”

People who enroll in Renascent’s government-funded Virtual Intensive Treatment Program through MIFC receive six weeks of intensive treatment, followed by 26 weeks of Continuing Care and life-time access to Renascent’s Alumni Program. They are also able to access our Family and Children’s Program to support the recovery of their loved ones through the support of Renascent Foundation.

To enroll in Renascent’s Virtual Intensive Treatment Program that is delivered in partnership with MIFC, contact Conrad Ritchie at or Theresa O’Connor at To learn more about Renascent’s Virtual Intensive Treatment Program, visit

About the Authors

Renascent Staff
The staff at Renascent is passionate about helping people with substance addictions so they can reach their full recovery – with compassion, respect, empathy and understanding. Our staff includes our counsellors, all of whom have lived experience of addiction and recovery.