The Government of Canada congratulates the Innu community of Pessamit on opening of new health facility
From: Indigenous Services Canada
May 11, 2018 — Pessamit (QC) – Pessamit Innu Council and Indigenous Services Canada
Improving access to health care services for First Nations is a priority for the Government of Canada. Achieving that includes access to quality care and sufficient, sustainable health resources in each community.
Today, the Hon. Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, on behalf of the Hon. Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, congratulated the Innu community of Pessamit on the opening of its brand new integrated health and social services facility.
This new building achieves the community’s vision of providing an array of services under the same roof. Those services include front-line, prevention and promotion services in community health, dentistry, optometry, as well as access to social services and long-term housing. The services are currently being provided by primarily Innu staff members who are part of the community.
The Government of Canada is particularly proud of this partnership with the Pessamit Innu, which will provide access to quality services that are adapted to the local culture.
The total cost of the project is $15 million, with $8 million provided by the Pessamit Innu Council and $7 million from the Government of Canada.
For his part, Chief René Simon mentioned that the construction and development of a new integrated health and social services facility in Pessamit was a source of pride and great satisfaction for him and his Council. In closing his speech, Chief Simon entrusted the members of his community with naming the new building as part of a major consultation whose details will be announced shortly: “It’s your health facility; it’s up to you to give it a name.”
“Congratulations to Chief Simon, the Pessamit Innu, and members of the health community on the success of this promising project. Access to quality health care is essential. This new facility, where several generations will come together, is momentous for the well-being of the community.”
The Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services
“It is a promise for the future of our community and nothing, in all that we seek to accomplish as elected officials, matters to us more than this. This is a decisive step towards collective well-being that we are taking together, but it is not the last: we still have a long way to go before we achieve our social, economic and cultural objectives.”
Chief René Simon
Pessamit Innu Council
- The community of Pessamit is located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, 54 kilometres southwest of Baie-Comeau in the province of Quebec. It has a population of 3,981 residents.
- The previous building that housed the community health facility was built in 1924 and included two additions built in 1954 and 1991. This building no longer met the community’s needs.
- The new construction project consisted of relocating all health and social services to the same location in a new two-storey building.
- The success of this infrastructure project was made possible through the exceptional aptitude and leadership of Innu businesses and professionals. The majority of those working on the site were members of the First Nation who spearheaded the construction of the new building.
Christian Rock – Pessamit Innu Council
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services
Indigenous Services Canada