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Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council blessed ground for Adolescent Recovery and Wellness Center

After 20 years of organizing, the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council blessed ground for their new Adolescent Recovery and Wellness Center in Cassian Monday.

The center will be a 36-bed residential facility designed to support Native American youth ages 13-17. It’s meant to treat children and teens who have substance use disorders or any co-occurring mental health conditions.

It will provide culturally relevant services and treatment, with a focus on treating the person, rather than the disease.

Services will be available to both Natives and non-Natives, although Native youth will be prioritized.

Governor Tony Evers attended the ceremony and praised the project.

“I don't want to over promise but whatever we can do, to work with tribal nations to make sure their people that they represent are healthy and safe," said Evers. "It's good for all of us, and I’d love to see more situations like this, but we need to get this one down first. This has taken way too long.”

WJFW reported last week on opposition to the center by people who live in Cassian, where the property is located. In a town meeting, residents, as well as Congressman Tom Tiffany, questioned the project as a drain on town resources and a safety concern.

Bryan Bainbridge is the CEO of the GLITC and he addressed these challenges.

“It's unfortunate that it got political," said Bainbridge. "There was a congressman fear mongering and making it sound like every person that has a problem is dangerous and making it look like this is going to be a prison for delinquent people. No, that's, that's not what it's about. It's truly voluntary, for someone that really wants to come in and be in a space to heal, to try to get better.”

Construction is expected to start this fall.

This is the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Commission’s first major project.

Hannah Davis-Reid is a WXPR Reporter.
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