Ontario Construction News staff writer
Keeseekoose First Nation is celebrating a monumental first – a brand new hospital to be built on reserve land. Members of Key, Cote and Keeseekoose – the First Nation’s leadership officially turned sod Monday on the new $44 million project.
Located near the former site of St. Philips Indian Residential School near Kamsack, the hospital will be centralized for all three nations in the area.
The facility is expected to open within the next 15-18 months.
The new multi purpose health facility is just the second hospital on Indigenous lands in Saskatchewan – the first being the All Nations Healing Hospital in Fort Qu’Appelle.
Saulteaux Pelly Agency Health Alliance’s $30 million proposal to construct a multipurpose health facility received funding last December.
“The Saulteaux Pelly Agency Health Alliance’s (SPAHA) goal with this project is to integrate the delivery of health services for three Saskatchewan communities while closing the infrastructure gap in Indigenous health care,” according to a news release. The SPAHA incudes The Key First Nation, Keeseekoose First Nation, and Cote First Nation.
When the health facility is completed, community members will have access to services in a culturally relevant environment, including primary health care, mental health programs and services, long-term care, palliative care, and child and family services, it said. In addition, the facility will grant community access to the Keeseekoose First Nation public health space.
The facility will provide more than 4,000 square metres of space and will be located on Keeseekoose First Nation.
“Our vision given to us from our Elders and community members and prayers have come to fruition,” said Cote First Nation Chief George Cote, chair of SPAHA. “We will be given an opportunity to provide the care, whether it be traditional or western methods, to serve our Nations.