Thunderbird Partnership Foundation


Round Lake Treatment Centre is a residential alcohol and drug treatment facility for individuals who want to learn how to live a clean, sober and balanced lifestyle.   Round Lake’s motto is “Culture is Treatment” and our mission is “to facilitate personal wellness of First Nations people by providing culturally specific treatment and training services.”

Round Lake Treatment Centre began with the dream of Okanagan Nation member, Tinker Watt, from Omak Washington.   Tinker Watt shared this actual dream with the original founders of Round Lake Treatment Centre, the late Emery Louis, JD Billy, and Buzz Morisette.  These visionaries passionately believed that in order to be well, First Nations people needed to embrace their own culture and practice its traditions.  Emery Louis selected the Round Lake location because he believed it was a sacred location where healing could take place.

In 1977, with only bologna sandwiches to sustain them and enough money for gas, the founders drove to Ottawa to persuade the Federal Government to fund a First Nations Treatment that practices culturally specific treatment to heal and treat addictions in our people.  The dream was realized in 1979 when Round Lake began its operations.  Now 33 years later, Round Lake is celebrating and honouring the 10,000 people who made the difficult but crucial decision to choose wellness.

Round Lake Treatment Centre is an internationally CARF accredited organization whose Program Director’s mantra is; “We are here to serve; It is all about the Clients”.  Over its history of operations, people of native and non-native ancestry have come from all over Canada and the United States to seek help with their addictions.  RLTC provides a safe and sacred place to become empowered and to build a solid foundation in a recovery based lifestyle.  Clients are ensured a continuum of care through a before and after care schedule.

Demographically, our clients remain primarily young adults, with trauma related issues prevalent that originate either from their use of drug of choice or in childhood history.  Assisting clients to work with their issues and ground in new coping skills via therapeutic process is paramount. We have worked in the past year to be a more cohesive team in our approach with clients, with the focus remaining on empowering the client and taking responsibility. Round Lake’s completion rate for clients is 84% and our bed occupancy rate is 100%.  We are pleased with these statistics and have been consistently in this range for a number of years. RLTC has always conducted Client Satisfaction questionnaires throughout the treatment process and at the end of a client’s stay.  We have added the question “Would you recommend family or friends to us” to measure client satisfaction, 96.8% of clients surveyed to date state they would recommend us.

Clients frequently stay in touch with the Centre.  It is rewarding to hear about their success and how what they learned in treatment has helped them.  (see website testimonial page  However, at times we also hear of clients that didn’t make it and may have relapsed back into their addictions but what is great is that they remain in contact and some wish to return.

At our client gatherings and anniversary celebrations, all those that have been involved in any capacity with the Centre are invited back, as well as clients.  It is always refreshing and amazing to welcome back all those who have contributed significantly to Round Lake in our history, development and ongoing desire to promote wellness and recovery based lifestyle.  We strive to keep the circle strong.

Round Lake’s board and employees are honored to bear witness to and to be part of so many clients’ healing journey.  It is truly astounding to think of the thousands of Round Lake clients who have returned home to their family and communities to live full, meaningful and contributing lives; a multi-generational impact.  Round Lake Treatment Centre truly transforms lives.

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