WIIKWEMKOONG – Wiikwemkoong Nursing Home has launched a new fundraising website, HonouringOurElders.ca, for the Wiikwemkoong Elders’ Home Capital Campaign. The campaign is aimed at raising funds for an elders’ facility that will add 37 new beds to the community. The current nursing home has 59 beds, but the new home will have 96 beds.
“The new home will be designed to accommodate important cultural practices, feasts and gatherings that have kept us together through good times and adversity,” said administrator Cheryl Osawabine-Peltier. She noted that the new facility will be a home, rather than an institution. “This new building will provide each elder with their own private room and there will be inviting common spaces that will bring the community in.” Family connections are extremely important for Indigenous communities, noted Ms. Osawabine-Peltier.
In addition to the cultural, private and common spaces, the new home will provide facilities for traditional foods and the colour palette will benefit both the residents and staff of the elders’ home.
The location of the new home has not been revealed as of press time Monday, but will be centrally located in the Village of Wiikwemkoong.
“We all deserve a place to live our full potential, but we are especially excited to give this generation of elders, who have seen and lived through so much, the continuity of care and cultural connection they require,” said Wiikwemkoong Ogimaa Duke Peltier.
The architectural design and costing have been completed, a process Ms. Osawabine-Peltier said has occupied much of her waking moments for many months. The costing for the new facility, which is eligible for $10,300,000 from the Ministry of Long-Term Care and $2,700,000 in grants, is $28,000,000. That leaves $15,000,000 to be raised to ensure the construction of the new home.
Ms. Osawabine-Peltier noted the new building will help protect culture by bringing families together to learn about the community’s history and way of life, will help save 56 jobs and create 25 new jobs, boosting the Wiikwemkoong economy by $5,000,000 a year. The build process will create 50 construction jobs over a two-year period and add $10,000,000 to the community. The new elders’ home will also have a reconciliation component, playing a key role in keeping the community’s elders close to the community. “If our home were to close, our elders would be forced from the community,” noted Ms. Osawabine-Peltier. “This has happened far too often to them. We must all work together to keep elders in the community.”
There are plenty of ways to donate and donors are invited to contact the foundation team through