Lheidli T’enneh First Nation has begun the work to build a brand new health centre.
A small group of Council members and staff were on hand this morning (Sept. 22) to officially ‘break ground’ and signal the start of construction of the new $4-million project.
The new single-storey wood-framed building will contain medical exam and treatment spaces, a dental treatment room, community health and wellness lounge, staff offices, lobby and gallery area.
It's set to be constructed in the Northside neighbourhood and will replace the existing facility, currently housed in construction-type trailers.
“The ongoing situation with COVID-19 prevented us from having a traditional groundbreaking ceremony with members, guests and the media in attendance. However, we wanted to do something to mark this historic occasion as this is the first health center the nation has ever constructed from the ground up,” says Dayi Clay Pountney.
“Our members will receive the best of medical, dental, health and wellness care in the new center which will have state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. Our members have asked for this for many years. Past Councils and staff worked hard to find the funding and over the next many months we’ll all be able to celebrate as we see the new health center take shape.”
Lheidli T’enneh Executive Director Joe Gosnell says the Nation is poised for substantive growth in the next few years and this project is another example of the council’s determination to see the nation move forward.
“The nation is reasserting itself in the downtown area of Prince George with development of the House of Ancestors and the Brunswick Street Office. The new Health Center along with new homes for members continues the development trend in the Northside and Southside neighbourhoods.”
Health Center Manager Tamara Seymour says her team has been busy throughout COVID-19 in providing services to band members.
“Our department outgrew our current health center a couple of years ago. Members and staff look forward to the move next year to the new facility with modern equipment, larger examination and treatment spaces, a dental treatment room and a new health and wellness lounge for members.”
The new health centre is expected to be completed late next year.