Norman Wells teen pleads for northern addictions treatment centre to MLAs

Sierra McDonald writes how mental health struggles can lead to addiction when not properly addressed.

Sierra McDonald, 17, lives in Tłegǫ́hłı̨ (Norman Wells). (Photo retrieved from Facebook)

Sierra McDonald had to come up with a community project this summer as part of a youth peer leader retreat.

The 17-year-old used the opportunity to bring attention to mental health and addictions: she sent a letter to MLAs highlighting the need for  an addictions treatment centre.

In her letter she writes, “We desperately need a treatment centre in the North.”

Reporter Francis Tessier-Burns spoke with McDonald to hear in her own words why that is.


You can read Sierra McDonald’s letter below.

Community Project Success! Sierra McDonald in Norman Wells wrote an advocacy letter for the need to have a treatment…

Posted by FOXY – Fostering Open Expression among Youth on Tuesday, January 5, 2021

About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis has been a general news reporter with CKLB since January 2019. Originally from rural Ontario, he first came to the NWT in 2016 as an intern with Up Here magazine and fell in love with the North. In his time with CKLB, he's had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures. Otherwise, you can find him hanging around the Legislative Assembly. If you have a story or want to chat, reach out to