Siksika Nation is receiving funding from the province to build a continuing-care centre on reserve land.
Siksika Nation and Siksika Health Services said in a news release Friday that the centre will have 34 beds for members of the Siksika community once it’s completed. Siksika received approval for an $11-million capital grant from Alberta Health through a continuing-care program for First Nations, Métis and Indigenous serving organizations.
“The future of continuing care will have changed forever on our reserve,” Chief Ouray Crowfoot said in the news release. “Expanded services will be available so that Siksika elders, for the first time, will have access to long-term care and designated supportive living in their own community.”
Funding to operate the care spaces is expected to be received through a multi-year operating grant that is being finalized and approved, according to Siksika Health Services. The continuing-care centre will be located west of the Siksika Health and Wellness Centre, about 90 kilometres east of Calgary.
“The continuing-care centre will also provide palliative and respite services, while connected with independent living units and adult day support planned for the site. The residents of the existing Siksika Elder’s Lodge will transition to the new continuing-care centre,” said Crowfoot.
Siksika Nation predicts it will take about three years to complete the necessary agreements, design and construct the project, and will be seeking input and feedback from members on the development of the care centre. Before site preparation begins, there will be a land blessing ceremony, the news release said.
In a statement, Health Minister Jason Copping said he is glad to see the project moving forward, and that he’s eager to give more information on this project and a few others soon.
“We’re expanding continuing care to meet the needs of all Albertans and as part of that, I’m proud to build on our partnerships with First Nations,” said Copping.