?Esdilagh Territory - The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) would like to congratulate the ?Esdilagh First Nation on breaking ground on its new health and community centre that took place on January 7. ?Esdilagh is located on the Fraser River 60 km north of Williams Lake in the Tsilhqot'in. The new health and community facility will address the combined health care and community services needs of the Nation.
The new building has a circular lodge entrance, empowering space for making and storing medicines, spiritual space, medical examination room, additional mental health space, and large gathering area. The community lost its band office to fire two years ago.
"Our community is located basically in the center of BC on the Fraser River. In our language, ?Esdilagh means where the land meets the water as a peninsula where sturgeon are found. All successful communities focus on infrastructure. Our joint success comes from both the First Nation Health Authority and our citizens in building design," said Nits'il?in ?Esdilagh Chief Bernie Mack. "As a small community, it is within our deepest appreciation we have not been forgotten as often the case. Last year's fire has left us with little space. We have to thank our past Chiefs and councils in reviving our cultural wellness. We will humbly honour this building by naming and artwork after a respected ?Esdilagh leader."
The FNHA worked closely with the community to design and resource a combined space for health care and community services, expanding on the design for a small health office that was in the works prior to the fire. Health care services provided at the new facility will address home and community health, diabetes, mental health, HIV/AIDS, pre-natal, environmental health and more.
Within the new health facility, ?Esdilagh is looking forward to establishing a National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program and the 'Meals with a Freezer' Program. Staff operating out of the new facility include one part-time Community Health/Home Support Nurse, two part-time Community Health Reps and two part-time Health Directors.
"The FNHA is proud to support the ?Esdilagh First Nation after the devastating fire in 2014 destroyed the Band's only community building," said Curt Walker, FNHA Chief Administrative Officer. "This new health facility is a good example of the collaboration that takes place with our partner communities to ensure health initiatives and programs are accessible to all First Nations and Aboriginal peoples living across the province."
The new facility, 180 square metres in size, will deliver health services directly within the community while supporting other community administration and governance services. The ?Esdilagh facility is one of 16 capital projects supported by the FNHA underway in 2016. There are approximately 153 First Nations community health facilities in BC. The projected completion date is set for July 2016.Media Contact:First Nations Health Authority604-831-4898
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