A Gitxsan community has welcomed the official opening of their Health Centre.
Gitanmaax has been working to create health services in their community, and now has a completely independent health office that offers an array of services.
Ardythe Wilson is a councilor in the community. She says that this is the fruit of years worth of work to establish reliable healthcare in the community.
Wilson says that every community is different and this health centre will enable Gitanmaax to offer culturally sensitive services they way their people would benefit from them, and their model of Gitxsan wellness.
The wellness centre will focus on their connection with the land and rivers and will focus on the cultural foundation of their Gitxsan heritage rather than a generic model set out by Health Canada or the First Nations Health Authority.
They will be providing almost every service other than immediate medical and doctor services, which is why they have built a relationship with Ridge Memorial Hospital. The centre will have optometry, podiatry, home and community care, maternal and child health, and the brighter futures initiative which is developing wellness programs in the community, along with an elder’s clubhouse.
They are looking on expanding more services that look into Gitxsan history, art and dance. As well as partnering with other health centres in the Gitxsan communities.
These services have been in place since April 2016, but now will be joined together in one community building. Wilson says it has been a year full of challenges but the community has banded together and continues to do positive things for the well-being of their members.