The Saulteaux Pelly Agency Health Alliance (SPAHA) broke ground on a new multi-purpose health care facility on the Keeseekoose First Nation.

The SPAHA facility will provide a full suite of services, including public health programming, palliative care, long-term care and mental health services, as well as host the Keeseekoose First Nation Community Health Centre, all for the communities of Cote First Nation, Keeseekoose First Nation, and The Key First Nation.

The facility is the result of a collaboration between the Saulteaux Pelly Agency Health Alliance Inc., the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). Construction is expected to take up to 24 months to complete.

“Our Elders never wavered. They know the importance of healthy community members. Our people’s trauma affects their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being, and access to the health system continues to be a barrier that we need to overcome. SPAHA is helping us access,” said Theodore Quewezance, Saulteaux Pelly Agency Health Alliance CEO.

“The SPAHA announcement is the result of the many months of work. I am glad that this is happening. I would like to thank the Elders and Chiefs of the three bands, and the federal and provincial Ministers and staff for their work. I know that there were lots of prayers. We were patient and now we have a path forward. Primary health care is a fundamental aspect for our members’ well-being, and we see this facility serving our people on and off reserve for decades,” said Chief George Cote, Saulteaux Pelly Agency Health Alliance, chairperson
Cote First Nation.

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“For many years, our members have asked for primary health care in our community. The need has always been there, and it will never go away,” said Chief Lee Ketchemonia, Keeseekoose First Nation.

“Today marks a significant milestone as the Saulteaux Pelly Agency Health Alliance advances toward construction of a multi-purpose health facility. Once fully operational, SPAHA will provide primary health care, mental health programs and services, long-term care and palliative care for Indigenous Peoples both living on and off reserve. This exciting partnership between Indigenous communities, the Province of Saskatchewan, and Indigenous Services Canada embodies a new approach to health service delivery. Congratulations to all partners who made this possible,” said Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services.

“Congratulations to the chiefs, as they have all worked very hard to make this project a reality. I am grateful I was able to be a part of bringing this facility to the community. This project will greatly improve access to healthcare in the Keeseekoose First Nation and Kamsack area,” said Terry Dennis, MLA Canora-Pelly.

Featured image: (L to R) Ted Quewezance of Keeseekoose First Nation, a co-chair of SPAHA; Chief Lee Kitchemonia of Keeseekoose First Nation; Chief Clinton Key of The Key First Nation; Chief George Cote of Cote First Nation and co-chair of SPAHA; Patty Hajdu, Minister, Indigenous Services; and Terry Goertzen, associate regional executive officer, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Indigenous Services Canada

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