Elders, community members, and partners were present for the groundbreaking ceremony at the site of Skidegate’s new wellness centre .
The 9,400 square foot health centre will be home to the Haida Nation’s health programs and services, including traditional healing, and life skills programming.
“As a Nation we are transitioning to a wellness model,” said Skidegate Chief, Bill Yovanovich in a news release. “There is no better way to communicate this transition through this new building. For us, this building represents a return to our teachings and practices as central to health and wellness.”
The new facility will help accommodate recent population growth and its location is both earthquake and tsunami safe, an important consideration after the October, 2012 magnitude 7.8 earthquake off Haida Gwaii.
Officials say the new centre will act as a building block of the local Comprehensive Community Plan, with future plans in the works for Elders housing, assisted living, and other services.
The First Nations Health Authority contributed $6 million towards the project.
Construction is anticipated to be complete in Spring, 2019.