All Nations Health Care Systeminside
(Left-right) Chair of the Kenora Métis Council Eliza -beth Boucha, Chair of the Kenora Chiefs Advisory Chief Lorraine Cobiness, Mayor for Sioux Narrows and Nester Falls Jerry O’Leary, Mayor for the City of Kenora David Canfield and Grand Chief of Grand Council Treaty #3 Francis Kavanaugh. Click here for larger picture.

On February 16 2017, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Kenora Métis Council (KMC) Chair Elizabeth Boucha was among the Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders in the Kenora area, attending the signing ceremony for the development of an All Nations Health Care System. Part of the system will include the construction of an All Nations Hospital to improve health outcomes for all people of the region. The signing ceremony celebrated the collaboration of leadership within the area and among local health care agencies.

The ceremony opened with Elders Clifford Skead and Ida Skead, along with welcoming remarks from Chief Chris Skead. In addition to Chair Boucha, the signing ceremony also included speakers from: the Grand Council Treaty # 3 Ogiichidaa Francis Kavanaugh, Mayor of the City of Kenora Dave Canfield, Mayor of the Township of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls Jerry O’Leary, Kenora Chiefs Advisory President Chief Lorraine Cobiness and Member of Parliament Robert Nault.

The hospital is needed because whether it is diabetes, cardiac or respiratory conditions, statistics for the Kenora area point to problems. The Métis and First Nations people experience many health problems related to obesity, alcohol and drug use, mental health and poor general well-being. Absence of economic opportunity, inadequate housing and social circumstance also hold back Métis and First Nations people from being full participants in the provincial economy.

MNO KMC President Joel Henley is excitedthe MNO is part of the project. He said: “Affordable, readily available health care is the cornerstone of a healthy and productive life, for our young, our aged, and everyone in between. Creating a health care system that improves the health outcomes of all who live in our region, and one where our Métis traditions and culture is respectfully practiced throughout the healing process is a priority.”

The Métis Nation, First Nation, municipalities and unincorporated townships will lead in the development of a health care system for the Kenora area. The journey to build a new All Nations Hospital will take up to ten years. In the interim, much must be done to address physician recruitment, access to specialist care and improve the current health care system as well as make improvements to the Lake of the Woods District Hospital.

In addition to the political leadership, the project includes the area’s health care agencies including: Lake of the Woods District Hospital, Kenora Chiefs Advisory, Waasegiizhig Naanaandawe’iyewigamig Health Access Centre, Sunset Family Health Team, Kenora District Services Board, Northwestern Health Unit, Kenora Health HUB and the Kenora and District Home for the Aged.

Posted: February 27, 2017