SAULT STE. MARIE -- Batchewana First Nation is buying the Lake Shore Salzburger Hof Resort north of Sault Ste. Marie and plans to turn it into a residential mental health and addictions treatment centre.

The new centre will focus on combatting the rampant opiate drug abuse plaguing many communities.

It is located 75 kilometres north of Sault Ste. Marie on the shores of Lake Superior.

The facility can accommodate up to 24 residents at a time and the recovery model will be based on the holistic Ojibway water teachings.

Band leaders are hopeful that this new mental health and addictions treatment facility will be operational by the summer of 2020.

"Our People and all who reside in our territory deserve a good quality of life. Everyone deserves access to good quality addiction recovery programs in a timely manner. This facility will relieve the pressure on the waiting lists for treatment," said Chief Dean Sayers.

"Our Elders have a wealth of cultural teachings and knowledge that can complement the work needed to help with the healing of our People, all People.  All we have to do is seek it out and give it life," said Batchewana Councillor Mark McCoy.