November 20th, 2020
Kenora, ON
For immediate release

Today the Provincial Government announced they will be adding 3,000 new and upgraded long term care spaces.

Wiigwas Elder and Senior Care (WESC), Is a new non-profit organization that was created by Kenora Chiefs Advisory.

As a part of this announcement by the provincial government, WESC has been allocated 64 spaces. This allocation will coincide and enable the build of a new 160 bed long term care home that includes the redevelopment of the current 96 spaces in Birchwood Terrance, pending the license transfer approval.

The new Long-Term Care space WESC is planning to develop will be located in Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation, and will have a strong focus on being a holistic space that focuses on culturally appropriate care.

“Developing this new space in our community is such a huge milestone forward,” said Chief Chris Skead of Wauzhushk Onigum Nation. “It is so vital to create a safe space that offers culturally appropriate care for not only our people but everyone in Kenora, and by moving ahead on this project we can ensure major change in the system happens.”

WESC has been working diligently over the last year to ensure there is a solid foundational plan in place once this new build gets underway.

“I always relay back to the fact these major milestones could not happen without the amazing partnerships we have within our organizations, communities and with government,” said Chief Lorraine Cobiness, Board President for Kenora Chiefs Advisory. “Today is a great day, and will pave a path forward for change and for exciting things to come, we are so grateful to have this opportunity to make sure everyone gets the appropriate and holistic care they need. Our elders had this vision 10 years ago, and we couldn’t have got to where we are without the support of our elders”

“This is great news for Kenora and all the surrounding communities, and I’m grateful for the First Nation Leadership and our team that has made this possible,” added Executive Director Joe Barnes of Kenora Chiefs Advisory. “I look forward to working with everyone including the All Nation Health Partners to create a state-of-the-Art facility that protects and provides the highest quality of care that all our elders and seniors rightfully deserve. We have to remember that our elders and seniors built our communities, cities and Nation.

They looked after us so that we can enjoy the freedom we have today, so now it’s our turn to look after them so they can live out their lives with dignity and respect,“ Barnes concluded.
Following today’s announcement, members from Kenora Chiefs Advisory were happy to be able to connect with MPP Greg Rickford and go look at the new site for the proposed Long-Term Care facility.

“This is an important approval for Kenora’s Long-Term Care capacity that will add more bed and better quality of care for our seniors,” said Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora-Rainy River, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “Our government has taken historic steps to add capacity and upgrade Ontario’s long-term care homes as we work towards our commitment to modernize the long-term care sector.”

As this project moves forward, we will release more information and more timelines.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Abbie Siroishka
Senior Executive Assistant and Communications Lead, Kenora Chiefs Advisory