Press Releases

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Aboriginal personal care home opens in Southeast Winnipeg

Partnership between Winnipeg Health Region and Southeast Resource Development Council results in unique one-of-a-kind facility in Winnipeg

Manitoba Health Minister Theresa Oswald today officially opened the Southeast Personal Care Home, an Aboriginal focused care environment designed to serve the long term needs of First Nations, Métis and Inuit elderly, and the first of its kind in Winnipeg.

"This new facility will provide First Nations, Métis and Inuit elders with a home that is welcoming, supportive and culturally appropriate. With the completion of this home we continue to build on our commitment to meet the long-term care needs of Manitoba's seniors," said Oswald.

Located at 1265 Lee Boulevard in the Fairfield Park neighbourhood, the 80 bed facility is a First Nations owned and operated facility which respects holistic values and cultural traditions. The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority's Long Term Care Program will manage health care services provided at the facility.

"This helps fill an important need in our community," Réal Cloutier, WRHA vice-president, longterm care, said. "We know culture plays a vital role when it comes to personal well-being, both mentally and physically. This facility will honour the uniqueness and traditions of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit individuals who reside here, while providing them with the long-term health services they need."

Dr. Catherine Cook, WRHA Vice President of Population & Aboriginal Health, said the facility demonstrates the Winnipeg Health Region's commitment to meeting the needs of the Aboriginal population. "Providing culturally relevant services is important to the Winnipeg Health Region," she said. "The Southeast Personal Care Home expands upon our current Aboriginal Health Services and provides a more traditional, holistic environment - important for our aging First Nations, Métis and Inuit clients."

The 52,000-square-foot facility consists of 4 units, each with its own multipurpose area consisting of a dining room, lounge, recreation area and kitchenette area. Each unit consists of with 20 private rooms in each unit.

The Southeast Resource Development Council (SERDC), which represents eight First Nations in southeastern Manitoba, contributed funds and the land for the project. One of the SERDC's long-standing goals is to provide appropriate care for Aboriginal elders from First Nations, Métis, Dene, Inuit and non-status communities.

Sheldon Kent, SERDC board chair and chief of Black River First Nation, said the new care home which is located on land adjacent to Southeast Collegiate, an SERDC-operated school for First Nations youth, will provide important opportunities for interaction and intergenerational activities that reflect the diverse cultures and heritage of the residents and students.

"We're so pleased to open the doors for Aboriginal elders and to have a location that enhances opportunity for communication between young people and elders. This is essential for the preservation of First Nations culture."

The new personal-care home also incorporates numerous green design elements to focus on the importance the environment has in Aboriginal cultures and reduce energy costs over the life of the building. The capital cost for the building was just under $21 million.

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Traditional Territories Acknowledgement
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority acknowledges that it provides health services in facilities located in Treaty One and Treaty Five territories, the homelands of the Métis Nation and the original lands of the Inuit people. The WRHA respects and acknowledges harms and mistakes, and we dedicate ourselves to collaborate in partnership with First Nation, Métis and Inuit people in the spirit of reconciliation.
Click here to read more about the WRHA's efforts towards reconciliation

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