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Native Spirit: Road to Recovery

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FORT TOTTEN, ND--It's a place they say will help families.

Crews are building a rehabilitation center for people struggling with addiction in Fort Totten.

"Our youth are having lots of problems with drugs and alcohol,” said Tribe Elder, Joe Lawrence Sr.

Addiction Is something Joe Lawrence Senior knows all too well.

The tribe helped him get clean 20 years ago.

"I first came involved with this project, with the program. I was an alcohol addict. Alcoholic. And through this program today I'm sober,” said Lawrence.

But since then the program has fallen to the wayside.

"We don't have no center for the youth for treatment. Like I said this is a big start. It's going to help,” said Lawrence.

Crews have already started work on the center.

It's a 15 bed inpatient facility the tribe wants stocked with addiction counselors, nurses, coaches and mentors.

Tribe leaders say the idea came from their people in the form of a questionnaire.

"Number one was the protection, the health and wellbeing of the children which translates families, And a lot of our families, a lot of our moms and dads are in trouble for a variety of reasons and different things. And that a lot of it is related to addiction issue,” said Tribe Elder, Cynthia Lindquist.

United Healthcare Foundation gave the tribe more than $1 million dollars in grants for the project.

"Hopefully by building the center here and hiring the counselors we'll help our youth in the future,” said Lawrence.

Lawrence gave the center it's name.

"Ohwaychakeeyah."

"We want to help families. And that's the word I used people helping families. That's how I figured out the name,” said Lawrence.

With construction scheduled to wrap in January, people wanting to fight their addiction should be able to stay there by Spring 2019.

People wanting help fighting their addiction should be able to stay here next spring.

"Families helping families to try to beat this drug problem,” said Lawrence.

Bringing a community one step closer to recovery.

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