First Nation Addiction Rehabilitation Foundation



The mission of FNARF is to promote and maintain healthy lifestyles that enhance healthy individuals, families and communities.  Also, to promote peoples well being through increasing use of mental, emotional, spiritual and physical resources, and to provide cost effective, holistic alternatives to deal with problem gambling activity.


In June 2002, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) on behalf of all Saskatchewan First Nation Communities and Tribal Councils successfully negotiated a new Framework (Gaming) Agreement with the province of Saskatchewan replacing the 1994 Framework Agreement as part of the updated changes to FSIN gaming jurisdiction and economic development ventures.

The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) under the First Vice-Chief, Health and Social Development Secretariat (HSDS) Portfolio, administers the First Nation Addiction Rehabilitation Foundation (FNARF) program.



FNARF has a shared responsibility towards ensuring that adequate programs and care services are in place for those who maybe affected by gambling problems. 

FNARF shall "work in cooperation with existing agencies and charities in order to ensure that effective and accessible prevention and treatment programs are available to First Nations people affected by gambling addictions."

(section VI.35 and 36, FSIN Gaming Act, June 7, 1995)




The FNARF Board of Directors and SFNRG-TWG is proud to be working in cooperation towards responsible gaming and problem gambling initiatives with the following stakeholders:

  • Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN)
  • Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA)
  • Indigenous Gaming Regulators (IGR)
  • Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA)
  • Western Canadian Lotteries Corporation (WCLC)
  • Saskatchewan Community Development Corporations (SCDC)
  • Saskatchewan Health (Sask, Health)
  • Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation (SGC)


Funding Beneficiaries

Since 2002, based on a distribution funding formula to Saskatchewan Tribal/Grand Councils and Independent First Nations, FNARF has administered, evaluated and monitored the allocation of 1.5 million.

(2002 Gaming Framework Agreement)

Beginning June 2007, FNARF revenues increased from 1.5 million to 2.25 million on part to reduce gambling related harms through First Nations community responsible gambling strategies.

(2007 Amended Gaming Framework Agreement)


What is Responsible Gambling?

For many First Nations and Aboriginal people, gambling is considered a social activity.  Playing bingo, dropping a couple of bucks into a machine, wagering on horse racing, or just going over to the local store and buying a lottery ticket.

Responsible gaming occurs when informed participants have a clear understanding of the probabilities of winning and engage in low-risk gaming situations and wager reasonable amounts.

"Knowing your limit and playing within it"

(reprint in part from Saskatchewan Responsible Gaming Association)


What is Problem Gambling Behaviour?

Problem gambling behaviour can affect significant areas of a person's life.  This may include health, employment, financial, and family relationships.

High-risk problem gamblers usually are borrowing this money with every intention of repaying it.  But realistically that individual is having noticeable negative effects in areas of their life, such s excessive debt, marital problems or illegal activity.


Theories of Problem Gambling

The FNARF Board of Directors realizes that there are many theories, models and approaches to assist those experiencing gambling related difficulties.

Currently, the FNARF Board of Directors recognizes three models in dealing with Problem Gambling. The "Controlled/Risk Reduction Model," the "Disease/Abstinence Model" and the "Circle of Care" model.

With the "Controlled/Risk Reduction Model" one maintains that people can be social gamblers and can gamble for recreation and not have a problem with gambling.

The "Disease/Abstinence Model" recognizes there will be persons who will develop major gambling problems and the only recourse is abstinence.

The "Circle of Care" model encompasses the medicine wheel teachings and holistic approaches to healthy living.


Preventing Problem Gambling

For many people gambling is exciting and entertaining.  They make careful decisions about spending time and money, where to go and how to have fun. Here's how to avoid problems:

  • Gambling for entertainment, not as a way to make money.
  • The house always has the advantage. You are really just paying to play the game.
  • Make sure you know how the game works and what the odds are before you decide to play.
  • Only use discretionary income, not money for everyday expenses.
  • Set a budget and stick to it.
  • Do not use cash machines to get more money for gambling.  Leave your debit and credit card at home when you decide to gamble.
  • Set a time limit.
  • Take frequent breaks.
  • Be aware-risk increases at time of loss or depression.
  • Don't borrow money to gamble.
  • Do not 'chase' losses.  Accept them as the cost of entertainment.
  • Balance gambling with other leisure activities.

 (reprinted in part from the Responsible Gambling Council of Ontario)


Harm-Minimization Strategy

The Board of Directors of the First Nations Addictions Rehabilitation Foundation has developed a Regional Strategy on Problem Gambling behaviours.  Many of the First Nations communities in Saskatchewan are currently implementing "Harm-Reduction Strategies" within their health and social community programming for problem gambling.  Support must continue for the Problem Gambling Services to minimize gaps in services for those seeking help with problem gambling.

The FNARF Board of Directors maintainig a position to neither endorse nor opposes the gaming industry.  Thus, in developing the regional strategy, respect and recognition is granted to legalized gambling as economic development and employment opportunities.

It is also the position of FNARF Board of Directors to have one representative (FNARF Funding Formula bases) from each of the Tribal/Brand Councils and Independent First Nations appointed to the Saskatchewan First Nations Responsible Gambling Technical Working Group (SFNRG-TWG) to provide recommendations which ensure effective Education, Prevention and Treatment in accordance with the FNARF mandate and mission.


Treatment Centres

In 2002, the FNARF Board of Directors agreed to establish a First Nation owned and operated Problem Gambling Treatment Centre located in northern Saskatchewan.  Support was also given to an additional Problem Gambling Treatment Program in southern Saskatchewan.

Holistic Wellness Centre
Cottage 10 2300 9th Avenue West
Prince Albert, SK
TEL: 1-866-765-5305 or 306-765-5305
FAX: 306-763-5223
or email: pagcpg@sasktel.net

The MISSION is to provide support for problem gamblers, their families and community-based education about problem and responsible gambling.  The Holistic Wellness Centre focuses on Problem Gambling (inpatient/outpatient treatment) and is the only "stand alone" centre for the treatment of problem gamblers that is not based on ethnicity or residency. The Centre is located in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

White Raven Healing Centre
Location: All nations Healing Hospital
Fort Qu'Appelle SK
TEL: 1-866-748-8922 or 306-322-2608
FAX: 306-332-2655

Our MISSION is to provide guiding principles that will encourage open communication with all individuals, families and communities. Our primary focus is to provide traditional and conventional therapeutic counseling designed to address the lagacy of intergenerational impacts of residential schools and unresolved trauma and family.