Community Connections | Indigenous Peoples
Wellness | Mental Health, Physical Health

Native Addictions Services Society

We provide Aboriginal-based programs dealing with addictions in the community. Since 1974, we've helped men, women and their families recover from the destructive effects of alcohol, drug and gambling addictions.

Our Story

Why We Exist

I still remember the day, the minute and the corner I was at when I made that phone call to my parents……95 Street and 111 Avenue in Edmonton, Alberta. It was a block away from the crack house of where I used to live. I remember walking to the phone booth, calling my parents and I told them “I give up….I don’t know what to do….I’m done.”

I needed help and we didn’t even know where I could go at first or who to call, as my parents are not alcoholics or addicts and were not used to this kind of situation…..but then it came to us……AADAC (Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission).  I called ADDAC for help and entered detox on that same day in Edmonton with only the clothes on my back, which my stay was 11 days before I entered my first treatment centre.

June 17, 2006, this is the day when I started my journey into sobriety. I went to 3 different treatment centres…Sunrise Native Addiction Services Society is where I learned about my culture, the power of my higher power and found many support and alumni groups to help me in my recovery.  I continued for many years, even to this day and I am forever grateful for the many people I have met along the way.

If it wasn’t for the fellowship and support of others in recovery, I am not sure if I would still be sober and in recovery and active as I am……learning from those before me and getting involved is definitely the key to keeping my sobriety and from going back out.  Paying it forward and being there when someone reaches out and to treat people with respect no matter where they come from, any situation, from my experiences, I can help others, and this is what it is all about for me.

Today, I keep myself busy, that’s number one but keeping myself healthy physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, some of the tools Sunrise taught me……also to respect myself and never be afraid to reach out and ask for help or help others when asked.  This includes speaking and getting involved in support groups and making the best of our second chance at life, as some people do not make it.                                                                      -past client of the Inpatient Treatment Program


Our Impact

What We Do

SUNRISE Native Addictions Services Society helps men, women, and their families recover from the destructive effects of alcohol, drug and gambling addictions. We serve Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities across Alberta, incorporating a unique cultural and spiritual healing experience while employing the Twelve Steps and the philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Our programs adhere to Aboriginal based Teachings, Values, and Beliefs, and also to the Minnesota Model, which stresses lifelong abstinence, the importance of education, involvement with Alcoholics Anonymous, and the notion of treating the whole person: body, mind and spirit.

Our Programs

How We Do It

Our abstinence based approach to healing the mind and body is harmonious with Aboriginal values and teachings. Elder involvement, traditional ceremonies, cultural field trips, community involvement, sharing circles, counseling, mentoring, and after care support are integral components of our client support programs.

SUNRISE Native Addictions Services Society currently delivers several key services to the people of Alberta:

Outpatient Programa four week program that offers men and women one-to-one counselling, relationship counselling, relapse prevention, 12 step information, fetal alcohol syndrome education, HIV/Aids education and gambling addiction education. Clients may take the 4-week program on a contract basis.

Inpatient Program,  a six week program that offers men and women an intensive program consisting of group sessions and one-to-one counselling. Week one consists of Traditional Pathways orientation, Weeks 2-5 consists of Addiction Treatment programming. Each of the four weeks focuses on recovery through one of the quadrants of the Medicine Wheel: Mental, Emotional, Physical, and Spiritual. Week 6 has the Building on Recovery theme and it focuses on relapse prevention and the development of an aftercare plan.

Living Through Recovery Treatment, a 3-month program that assists clients with successful re-integration back into society by combining weekly group sessions with individual care plans in order to maintain their sobriety. The program utilizes collaborations within the community of Calgary to assist our clients in returning back to work, finding suitable housing, and upgrading education. Clients entering the L.T.R.T. program must have completed a minimum of four to six weeks of Inpatient treatment programming within the last three months. Once clients complete the first twelve weeks of the L.T.R.T. program, they then attend weekly sharing circle group sessions.

Family Counselling Program – a program targeting prevention strategies, which help at-risk families develop strengths, and healthy coping strategies for positive lifestyle choices. This is accomplished through work on improving communication skills, participation in parenting groups, family group counselling, individual counselling, and sharing circles. The program addresses substance abuse, family violence, family dynamics, criminal involvement, gang affiliation, poverty, and homelessness.

Our Requests

What You Can Do

We see an Addictions free lifestyle for Aboriginal people, their families and communities. We believe that with the right support, no matter how far down someone has fallen; clients can recover and be healthy contributing members in their communities.

MAKE A DONATION to help us restore hope and dignity to those we serve. Your gift can make a difference in the lives of individuals, their families and ultimately our community as a whole.

VOLUNTEER with us as a…

  • Casino Volunteer
  • Leisure Volunteer (Beading, Painting Instruction, Supervision)
  • Residential Internship Volunteer
  • Landscape Volunteer
  • Client Christmas Party Volunteer (Children’s Room, gift wrapping)
  • Elder Volunteer

ATTEND OUR ANNUAL CASINO EVENT and help us raise money to assist us in our mission to help our clients achieve an addiction free lifestyle for themselves, their families and their communities.

BECOME A MEMBER for an annual membership fee of $5.00.


Leslie Big Bull

Native Addictions Services Society


Charitable Number: 119052009RR0001

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