River Lodge (formerly Cottage One)

Submitted on Friday, 01/24/2020 - 2:06 am

nii’htaa moyis


In March  2021, Cottage One changed its name to River Lodge, or nii’htaa moyis in Blackfoot. This program was gifted the name by Casey Eagle Speaker, Hull’s Indigenous Resource Coordinator, through a naming ceremony. The name stems from the Blackfoot culture’s understanding of the word and how it represents the young people and the treatment in the program.
A river symbolizes the young person’s unique journey through their life; at any point, they can step into the river of treatment and healing. Just as in a physical river, the river of treatment will have tumultuous periods of rapids and periods of calm. The riverbanks signify family, staff, natural and professional supports that will guide and support them.
“It is meaningful that all rivers flow towards a larger body of water, which represents the sense of a healthy and safe community that we hope our young people also move towards,” said Misty Brigham, Program Director for River Lodge. “Once rivers reach the ocean, no matter how murky they were, the waters clear.”
“The Blackfoot names are significant in recognizing the ancestral lands of the Blackfoot Confederation that Hull is situated on, as is the city of Calgary,” said Eagle Speaker. “To have Indigenous inclusion is important to create a culturally safe place with humility, to give those we serve a sense of freedom and direction.”

About River Lodge

River Lodge is an intensive campus-based treatment program that provides clinical interventions for adolescents, with developmental, emotional and behavioural challenges. The program provides a trauma-informed, relationally rich milieu with an emphasis on socioemotional skill acquisition, community participation, and connection to natural supports and culture.

Who this Program Supports 

River Lodge provides services in a therapeutic campus-based treatment facility for special needs youth ages 12 to 17 years with developmental, emotional and behavioural problems. Youth admitted to River Lodge often struggle to fit into social settings due to developmental delays, social, emotional and behavioural deficits.

Diagnostically, these youths present with multiple childhood disorders including but not limited to: Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Conduct Disorder, Learning and Language Disabilities, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, Depression and Intellectual Disability (borderline intelligence to mild mental handicaps).

Through evidence-based clinical interventions, the program strives to reduce significant behavioural challenges, enhance functional social skills, bolster connection with natural supports and prepare youth for a less-restrictive community setting.

Our Approach 

The program is an evidence-based multi-component program for youth guided by principles of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS), developmental neuroscience, and trauma-informed approaches including the Neurosequential Model (NM).  The curriculum is individualized, intensive and focused on building new skills with precise behavioural teaching and counselling in the context of normative daily activities in a relational milieu.

Committed To Excellence

  • In addition to post-secondary training, staff receive training in trauma-informed care approaches, such as the Neurosequential Model and are trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI).  The staff receive core agency training as well as in program training, continuous coaching and reflective supervision.
  • The program staff are Child and Youth Care Certified through the Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta (CYCAA).

How to Access the Program 

River Lodge (Formerly Cottage One) is a managed – referral program

Please note: This program can only be accessed for youth with Children’s Services status and referral by a case worker.

For more information contact