Island Lake Health and Healing Centre opens doors of new facility

The Anishininew Minoyawigumik Health and Health Centre held its grand opening in St. James on Friday.

A new Indigenous health and healing centre is now open in Winnipeg.

The Anishininew Minoyawigumik Health and Health Centre held its grand opening in St. James on Friday.

“Health care is something that is really important for our people,” Island Lake Anishininew Nation Grand Chief Scottie Harper said at Friday’s ceremony.

But Grand Chief Harper said he’s watched community members struggle to even access health care.

Our people have struggled with diabetes and other sickness,” Grand Chief Harper said. “So, this [centre] is a very good step for our people to work together.”

The centre is a partnership between Island Lake Tribal Council and Four Arrows Regional Health Authority, as well as the First Nations communities of Garden Hill, Red Sucker Lake, St. Theresa Point, and Wasagamack.

LifeSmart Health and Indigenous Canadian Medical Dispensaries are also involved with the centre.

The centre will provide over 15,000 Island Lake residents with medical, dental, and pharmaceutical services.

“We are taking health care in our hands,” a statement from the centre read. “This is just the first step towards our regional goal of a primary health care centre in our communities.”

The building on Ellice Avenue was purchased in 2020 and been used as a COVID-19 rapid testing site for community members and other Indigenous people returning home throughout the pandemic.