KELLER – The new San Poil Treatment Center held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting, Sept 30, in front of the new facility.

Close to 70 people gathered, including members of the Colville Confederated Tribes Business Council, along with treatment center staff to watch as CBC Vice Chairman Jack Ferguson and other members of the Council cut the ribbon at the entrance of the center.

Colville tribal elder Barbara Aripa gave the opening prayer and tribal member Darnell Sam followed with an honor song.

“I wanted to thank each and every one of you for being here today to honor this center,” said Aripa. “And also we thank our beautiful mother Earth for this land and our drummers for being here for us.”

During the ceremony, Vice-Chair Ferguson thanked a long list of individuals who were part of making the new treatment center a reality.

Ferguson recognized the Reservation attorney’s office, Alice Koskela and Shannon Thomas, along with Health directors Alison Ball and Dr. Dan Barbara as well as Chief Financial Officer William Nicholson, facilities and planning staff, Paul Tillman. Shawn Christianson and his crew for all the work they’ve done during the pandemic. Ferguson also mentioned the work of the Tribes federal and state lobbyist Brian Gunn and Michael Moran and former tribal employee Ernie Rasmussen and Colville Tribes legislative assistant Neeka Somday.

Colville Confederated Tribes Business Council Chairman Andy Joseph, Jr. wasn’t able to be there for the ribbon cutting as he had another matter he had to tend to but was able to see the new center later in the afternoon.

Joseph Jr. stated, “This treatment center, which can provide treatment for drug and alcohol addictions and also some mental health services, will bring a great benefit to our people. It will provide traditional and spiritual healing, using both science-based and faith-based best practices for treatment. It could also be used as housing in an emergency such as to handle COVID-19 quarantines. We pray that the San Poil Treatment Center produces healing and good medicine for many people for years to come.”

The treatment center scheduled to open this fall will serve adults who have been diagnosed with substance use disorder (SUD) and are classified as having a medical need for residential SUD services, as determined by the recommended ASAM Level of Care. The San Poil Treatment Center officially opened on Monday (Oct. 4) and scheduled to begin seeing patients the following week. 

The primary focus of the center will be on offering a culturally informed and holistic cognitive-behavioral therapeutic approach.

The facility will offer a broad range of services and treatment lengths to adults based on the needs of the patients, including individual and group therapy and counseling; family counseling, laboratory tests, psychological test, and room and board. The facility is a key part of the Tribe’s goals to:

- Decrease alcohol and substance abuse deaths by 50%

- Reduce alcohol and drug recidivism rate by 25%

- Increase on-reservation employment by 25%

“I am excited to be here today,” said Dr. Dan Barbara, Colville Confederated Tribes Director of Health and Human Services. “This place is just beautiful.”

The San Poil Treatment Center will have a full staff of clinical cultural specialists, chemical dependency treatment providers; support specialists, case managers, administrative support personal as well as ancillary services provided by the Tribes Behavioral Health department to include Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and licensed mental health clinicians.

“We’ve got a pretty good group of individuals they’ve recruited,” said Sean Warner Chemical Dependency Professional.

The Colville Tribe has partnered with two nonprofits with deep ties in the Pacific Northwest to construct a 46-bed new residential substance abuse treatment center in Keller, Washington.

“Substance abuse is a treatable disease but access to inpatient programs has been a barrier for many in our community and the surrounding areas," said Jack Ferguson, Vice-Chairman of the Colville Business Council and Keller District representative. "This new facility in Keller will address that need and increase access to care," Ferguson added.

The project, which totals approximately $20 million, is facilitated by New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocations to Craft3 and Ecotrust, the Tribes partners in this project. The facility is the first-of-its-kind on the Colville Reservation. Travois helped as a consultant to the Tribe.

“This is a beautiful place, much needed for the area,” said Mike Heath, Ferry County Commissioner. “It’s a blessing.”

Leone and Keeble are the Contractors and the Architects of the center are Architects West.

“Thank you all for coming here today, thanks everybody for being here today,” said Colville Confederated Tribes Councilwoman Karen Condon.

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