© White Buffalo Youth Inhalant Treatment Centre | Created by The Foggy Lemon Development

Empowering First Nations youth and families through culturally-based, holistic treatment

and community outreach services.

Organizational Values

Values that guide the culturally-based treatment and community outreach services at 

White Buffalo Youth Inhalant Treatment Centre are:

  • Respect

  • Humility

  • Unconditional love, acceptance, belonging, and affiliation

  • Humour

  • Kinship and Extended Family

  • Perseverance

  • Healthy Living

  • Credibility

  • Accountability

  • Rapport

  • Self- Awareness

  • Presentation to Self

  • Professional Development

  • Caring

Strategic Goals

Treatment program

  • Educational Achievement

  • Physical Wellness

  • Spiritual Wellbeing

  • Emotional Wellness

Community Outreach

  • Education Awareness

  • Promotion and Marketing

  • Cultural Camps

  • Aftercare

  • Prescription Drug Abuse Strategy

  • Capacity Building and Training

  • Referrals and Assessments

Practice Model
  1. The following describes the current models of practice utilized by WBYITC and the approaches and strategies to reflect the models.

  2. The practice within the organization reflects the models identified

The Treatment Program at White Buffalo Treatment Centre is designed to maximize youth resiliency through systematically improving self-identity and equipping youth with tools for life in developing as First Nations Women. The Program is separated into four unique Doorways, with each Doorway designed to teach different skills within the Holistic Model.

Holistic Model

The four aspects of life Spiritual, Emotional, Mental, and Physical are utilized to assist the youth in identifying their needs, form the basis for weekly targets to address their needs, develop new skills to manage situations throughout their day, and teach skills useful in developing a healthy lifestyle free of inhalants and other harmful substances. The overall objective is to instill the Seven Spiritual Disciplines in becoming a woman. These are Respect, Courage, Bravery, Humility, Truth, Honesty, and Love.

Resiliency Model

WBTC believes that every youth who has experienced adversity also possesses the capacity to survive, overcome, and be strengthened by these experiences. An Aboriginal Worldview is added to the Resiliency Model that incorporates Seven Components targeted in the youth. These are: Morality (interconnectedness, respect, humility, and faith), Humour (teasing as acceptance and welcome, the ability to laugh about our mistakes and learn), Initiative (personal courage, freedom, integrity, autonomy), Insight (ceremony, strength, knowing self and purpose, identity development), Relationships (kinship, sharing, unconditional love, generosity, communal living), Independence (mastery, taking on adult roles, non-interference), Creativity (survival, tool making, continuance of life, carving, art).

Living Therapy

The concept of living therapy incorporates the Seven Spiritual Disciplines and the Seven Components into everyday living. Youth are assisted in applying these into their daily life and interactions, thereby rediscovering their latent strengths. All cultural activities, out-of-centre activities, Equine Assisted Learning, and school incorporate living therapy. The Treatment Program is separated into four unique phases called Doorways. As they pass through each Doorway their success and progress is celebrated through ceremony.


A general observation is that youth upon entry to the program are usually reserved and even fearful like the mouse. The initial phase of the treatment program is the stabilization and detoxification period. Once the youth are stabilized they participate in school and programming that provides awareness on basic life skills with the intent of stopping the previous harmful behaviors. A welcoming and nurturing atmosphere allows them to face their fears. The case work process involves the conducting of a needs assessment which is completed within the first month; this information formulates the basis on an individual treatment plan. A supportive environment and trust building occur during this initial phase of programming. As individual growth is fostered youth enter a phase of self-discovery, examination of fears and other debilitating issues. Morality and Respect are the disciplines targeted in the first doorway.


The second doorway incorporates the spirit of the bear to look within their minds and begin to re-activate their emotions. Youth are assisted to identify their emotions and how their feelings interact with their minds resulting in behaviour. Youth are taught healthy copings skills to effectively manage their emotions. Treatment planning is adjusted as the youth progress through this doorway with initial healing occurring as youth are able to process their fears, hurts and other debilitating experiences. Humour, Initiative, Courage, and Bravery are the disciplines targeted in the second doorway.


In this doorway the youth learn to integrate the living tools presented throughout the program. They are encouraged to take healthy risks and to develop the dignity of an eagle. Insight, Relationships, Humility and Truth are the prominent disciplines incorporated into their development as young women encouraging them to take on a leadership role.


The focus of the fourth doorway is the continuation of the case work process as a post discharge plan is developed which validates self-change and solicits input into future planning. This is a time to prepare themselves for return back to their families and communities. They are taught that to be successful they will need the resiliency of the White Buffalo Independence, Creativity, Honesty, and Love.

Program Overview

White Buffalo Youth Inhalant Treatment Centre is a 10 bed residential facility located on Muskoday First Nations 15 minutes South East of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. The Treatment Centre is one of 10 facilities located across Canada funded under the National Youth Solvent Abuse Policy (NYSAP) with a mandate of providing both residential and outreach services for female youth experiencing difficulties related to abuse of inhalants, drugs and alcohol as well as associated addictions and mental health needs. The treatment center was established in 1996 and has a proven history of providing quality services that are innovative in nature, are research based “best practices” and has maintained Accreditation endorsement since 1999. The treatment centre accepts gender specific placements of female youth between the ages of 12-17 years.


About WBTC Treatment Program

White Buffalo Youth Inhalant Treatment Center is a 4 month residential program that is culturally based, family oriented and has the amenities for a pleasant and conducive treatment experience. The program provides intensive casework and group sessions to review individual problems and uncovers existing strengths. The philosophy is that it is equally important to integrate relaxation, recreation, life-skills, formal education and cultural activities into a positive therapeutic, interdisciplinary treatment model.

The program is based on a holistic treatment model and incorporates the four cornerstones of treatment, Spiritual, Emotional, Mental, and Physical. The Resiliency Model forms the premise for the concept of “living therapy” where by treatment is integrated into all interactions in which the youth participate. The youth learn to integrate the 7 components of the Resiliency Model into their daily interactions (morality, humour, initiative, insight, relationships, independence, and creativity). The use of culture as a foundation in programming allows the female youth to redevelop their identity and emphasises their role in becoming First Nations women. Cultural integration includes the use of Elders who share traditional knowledge; deliver teachings and conduct ceremonial activities. A “Land Based” program is an offsite venue that fosters a connection to nature and creation as an innovative healing approach. Adding to the array of treatment modalities is the “Equine Assisted Learning” program which is research based and provides diversity in program affect.

A complimentary feature of the White Buffalo program is the extensive prevention, early intervention, post treatment supports and mobile treatment services that are offered through the Outreach component. An expanded Outreach mandate is to deliver an education/awareness/ preventative campaign regarding the Prescription Drugs Abuse population health impact on the First Nations population in Northern Saskatchewan.

White Buffalo Youth Inhalant Treatment Center has embraced Research activity in order to give evidence that certain treatment approaches can be adopted as a Best Practice. Publications stemming from the Equine Research project is The Helping Horse: How Equine Assisted Learning Contributes to the Wellbeing of First Nations Youth in Treatment of Volatile Substance Misuse and the other research Culture as Intervention in Addictions Treatment resulted in development of a Native Wellness Assessment tool (see WBYITC Articles).

Quality Control entails achieving Accreditation Awards as a validation of standards concurrence and use of Performance Measurement instruments that include the conducting of Staff and Client satisfaction survey

EAL Program