Where acceptance, understanding and planning create positive change.

Message from the Executive Director

The Healing Centre is a very sacred place that offers a unique program called “The Early Recovery/Stabilization Addictions Program”. We have worked very hard to ensure that our building is safe and taken care of on all levels; that our Employees are properly trained and that each understands their role and impact on clients.

Our intention in setting up our programs and services is to assist clients to 1) Accept and understand their addiction and addictive behaviour. 2) Once they get to that place, then they learn about/practise managing their addiction/addictive behaviour. 3) From that point on, if they continue to follow through, they start to create positive changes in their lives and they have created a very powerful and positive foundation for their recovery.

Early Recovery is the first two years of the journey into recovery from an addiction.
It is a very challenging and exciting time. Our Program offers a very experiential service:

  • Through full participation in the daily activities, the clients gain insight into their addictions and addictive behaviour.
  • Anytime that information is presented in group, the clients then take it and apply it to their lives/living situations.
  • Various Resource Specialists come in and work with the clients during their stay at the Centre. The areas are: Program Elder Support, Gambling Awareness, Life Skills/Self - management, Relationship Building, Mental Health Counselling, Alcohol and Drug Counselling, Diabetes Awareness.
  • A Naturopathic Physician works with the clients to manage minor withdrawal symptoms, chronic pain, PAWS, as well to give direction on healthy living/lifestyle development.


There are several modules in our program; whereby clients can stay in residence for the full 7 or 8 weeks or they can come to a specific module to focus on a particular area. This is very helpful to clients who are working full time or who are from the local area and want to come in as day clients.

  • Module 1: Stabilization and Orientation;
  • Module 2: Self-Assessment and Process Insight
  • Module 3: Insights into the Painful Family System
  • Module 4: Bio-Psycho-Social Aspects of Addiction and Recovery
  • Module 5: Understanding and Managing PAWS
  • Module 6: Exploring Spirituality in Recovery
  • Module 7: Investigating Relapse in Early Recovery
  • Module 8: Planning for  Recovery and Wellness

At the Healing Centre, our Motto is: clients first, last, and always. The Board and Staff work very hard to keep their focus on the clients and their needs. That’s why we have developed our programming over time in response to client feedback and gone through the Accreditation process with Accreditation Canada.

We accept:

  • Adult males; aged 19 years and older for the 8 week Residential programming.
  • “Wet” clients who are in minor withdrawal from their drug of choice.
  • Methadone maintenance clients - including Suboxone prescriptions.
  • Adult males; aged 19 years and older for Short-term residential programming. These are clients who desire to look at specific areas of their addiction so they can come and stay for 1 – 8 of the modules.  
  • Day patients for specific modules of the program or for the full 7 or 8 week program.
  • Clients with convictions related to addictions/addictive behaviour with the exception of Sexual Assault convictions.
  • A maximum of 3 clients with Parole Orders/Probation Orders/Bail Orders per Intake.

In Memoriam


Rod Bolton, President
Passed into Spirit September 1, 2015

On September 1st 2015 the Healing Centre lost its President.

  • After a lengthy battle with cancer he was called home to be with his Creator.
  • Rod was the President of the Board for 4 years.
  • He was a very strong supporter of the clients and the staff and the work being done at the Healing Centre.  
  • He made sure that he dropped in for visits to support the Executive Director on a weekly basis and to visit with staff and clients.
  • He was a strong presence on the Board and ran the meetings with integrity and a strong desire to help those who are suffering from the effects of addictions.
  • He always had a word of encouragement for the clients – you’re in the right place, the team is here to help you so that you can learn how to help yourself.
  • He always had positive words for the staff – you’re doing good. It’s hard but we can do it, together we can do anything.
  • He did a lot of PR for the centre – spreading the word about the work being done and letting people know that there was somewhere to go for help with addictions.
  • Even though he was retired he was very involved with the Board and is sorely missed as a leader and an advocate for the centre and it’s clients.

A great big thank you to the Creator who blessed us with the gift of Rod’s time and dedication to the Centre.  

We will carry on in his memory and continue to support clients in the best way that we know how as they enter into a life of Recovery and Wellness.
Best wishes for your journey in the spirit world Rod until we meet again on the other side.

Blessings and Hugs,

Your Staff and Board at Gya’ Wa’ Tlaab

In Memoriam

Gina Wilson, Team Leader  
Passed into Spirit September 12, 2016

On September 12th 2016 the Healing Centre lost one of its own.

  • After a two-year battle with cancer she was called home to be with her Creator.
  • Gina was a leader at the Healing Centre.
  • She worked tirelessly on behalf of the clients and was very dedicated to the Centre.
  • Gina was not just a co-worker, she was family to all who worked here. 
  • She brought laughter and joy to the workplace and she had a deep compassion and understanding for each and every client who walked through our doors.
  • Gina had a wicked sense of humour and could always be counted on to put a funny spin on the things that happened in our daily work life.
  • She was a supervisor to the Program Team who deliver the program to the clients. She was kind, gentle and understanding most of the time – and she could also be counted on to call b.s. when she heard it from either the staff or clients.
  • Words cannot express how much she is missed by all of us.

A great big thank you to the Creator who gave her the time on this earth to give the Centre 6 years service.  
It will take a long time and a great deal of effort to fill her shoes.

We will carry on our work in her memory and continue learning and sharing what it is that we know about Addictions and Recovery.

Best wishes for your journey in the spirit world Gina until we meet again on the other side.

Blessings and Hugs,

Your Team Mates at Gya’ Wa’ Tlaab

Our Mission Statement

“To provide a holistic healing environment that
empowers individuals to make positive choices regarding
their addictions and addictive life styles.”

Gya’ Wa’ Tlaab – Haisla translation meaning “Helping Each Other”

Program Rational

Our Vision of Service is one of a Holistic Model as an evidenced-based residential treatment program that is supported by a number of well defined beliefs, which include:

  • It is consistent with the public health approach.
  • There is an understanding that no single treatment is appropriate for all individuals.
  • It is recognized that effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her substance misuse.
  • It acknowledges that counselling (individual and/or group) and other behavioural therapies are critical components of effective treatment for addiction.

Primary Purpose

To teach clients that chemical dependency is a disease, and this disease causes physical, psychological, social and spiritual problems. And their total person is affected.

The Holistic Model of Recovery will inform and teach the clients to:

  • Be fully informed of the exact nature of the disease of addiction.
  • Have accurate information to recover from substance abuse and addiction.
  • Objectively evaluate their own alcohol and drug use to see if they have a substance abuse or addiction problem.
  • Take ownership of the information; they’ll need to apply it to themselves, and then they’ll need to put what they’ve learned into action.
  • Recognize that relapse is not an accident and some people fail to recover because they do not understand their addiction and, therefore, fail to do what is necessary to avoid relapse.


Gya’ Wa’ Tlaab Healing Centre

  • Located in North West BC, Kitamaat Village
  • 12 bed NNADAP funded treatment beds
  • 4 bed NHA funded stabilization beds
  • Independent Non-Profit Society
  • Governed by a Board of Directors
  • Member of the Association of BC First Nations Treatment Programs
  • Member of the National Native Addiction Partnership Foundation via the ABCFNTP
  • Went through the full Q’Mentum Site Survey and received full Accreditation in November of 2013. Survey done by Accreditation Canada

Achievements since opening on November 1, 2005

  • Program was redesigned to meet the needs of early recovery where clients have a place to go when they are still in the pre-contemplation and contemplation stage of change
  • Achieved Accreditation Status
  • Redesigned hiring practise and standards so that the most qualified and suitable candidate is hired
  • All counsellors hired have become certified through FNWACCB

Gya’ Wa’ Tlaab Healing Centre

  • Implemented recruitment retention strategy that trains people who are interested in the field but don’t have the formal education – investing in mature staff who are from the local area
  • Able to provide in-patient, day-patient, out-patient and outreach programming to the local and regional communities
  • Voluntary participation by staff on various boards locally, regionally, and nationally to further the cause of addiction treatment
  • Able to recruit resource people to work with the Centre in providing a well rounded program to clients

Early Recovery / Stabilization Program

  • Seven (7) or Eight (8) week all-male Residential Programming
  • Target service populations: Aboriginal People and other Canadians
  • Based on the Bio-Psycho-Social Model/ Developmental Model of Recovery Including:
    • Assessment
    • Orientation, and readiness phase to treatment
    • Pre-Contemplation, Contemplation to Early Recovery
    • Transition, Stabilization, and Early Recovery stages…

Incorporates a Holistic Healing Model that addresses the whole Person

  • Acu-Detox/General Health Monitoring delivered by a Naturopathic Doctor
  • Brief intervention
  • Cognitive-behavioural techniques
  • Culturally appropriate ceremonies
  • Education Awareness
  • Physical Wellness: can be combination of fitness training, strength training, yoga, meditation.
  • Life Skills
  • Motivational techniques
  • Psycho-educational groups
  • A&D Counselling
  • Mental Health Counselling


All Services must be client-focused and must address the needs of the clients. Our beliefs are:

  • Programming must be consistent with the public health approach
  • That no single treatment approach is appropriate for all individuals
  • That effective treatment attends to the multiple needs of the client, not just his or her addiction/addictive behaviour.
  • Counselling (individual and/or group) and other behavioural therapies are critical components of effective treatment for addiction.
  • Those who are suffering from addiction can learn to find new meaning and purpose in life through the practise of a sobriety and well-briety

    Sobriety is:

  • a different way of thinking /acting
  • a new way of relating to others
  • a philosophy of living that requires daily effort to work a recovery program