FARGO — A substance abuse treatment center is opening Tuesday, Aug. 6, in the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation amid tribal efforts to curb the toll of alcohol and drugs on the reservation.

The 15-bed treatment facility was created as part of a $1.2 million, three-year partnership between the United Health Foundation and the local Cankdeska Cikana Community College, according to a joint statement.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum will join the community for the grand opening ceremony Tuesday at 10:30 a.m., along with Cynthia Lindquist, president of the community college, and Tracy Malone, president of the United Health Foundation.

The residential, adult treatment center — the first of its kind at Spirit Lake — aims to “address the toll substance abuse has taken on the Spirit Lake community and the need for access to culturally competent treatment and support for long-term recovery,” according to the statement.

Just four years ago, the tribal council declared a state of emergency in its efforts to combat the “epidemic” of illegal drugs and drug trafficking on the reservation. The tribal college later found community members ranked access to a substance abuse treatment as their top health need.

“The tribe is looking forward to having a facility where its people can stay within the community to travel down the long road of recovery and wellness and not have to leave,” said spokesman Andrew Young.

The opening ceremony will take place at the Spirit Lake Recovery and Wellness Center, located at 7527 Ephraim Hill Road, Fort Totten, N.D.

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