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People in Williams Lake receive improved access to First-Nations-led primary care

November 4, 2022 at 11:33 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chair, Tŝilhqot’in National Government –

“It’s long overdue for a wellness centre like this in Williams Lake. Having a place that our people can go that provides different levels of support in culturally sensitive ways will be hugely beneficial. Health care is one of the best things you can provide to improve health outcomes for rural and remote areas. We are proud to say that this is the first of its kind in B.C. A Nation is strong but when many Nations work together, we are even stronger. This is also a celebration in three Nations working together.”

Sheri Sellars, Chief, Xatśūll First Nation –

“This new centre holds a different aspiration – health and wellness practices that are rooted in our traditional knowledge. This approach goes back to the land, integrating traditional ways of life into healing. This is important as it helps to mitigate the impacts of colonization and help us to return to our holistic and traditional healing practices.”

Zach Parker, representative, Dakelh Dene Nation; executive, Interior Region Nation –

“We are excited to have a multi-Nation health-care centre that will serve our people’s needs in a culturally safe way. This inclusive space is an opportunity to demonstrate leadership in health care, and we hope that it can empower and uphold Indigenous people.”

Lisa Montgomery-Reid, vice-president, regional operations, Interior Region Nation –

“This is an opportunity to do things differently and to provide primary care services with culture, ceremony and practices as a foundation to care. It is a place where First Nations people living in and around Williams Lake will feel welcomed and safe to access health services. It could not have been achieved without the support of the Dakelh Dene, Secwepemc and Tŝilhqot’in Nations, and we acknowledge the ongoing support and guidance provided by the leadership in the planning and development of the First Nations Wellness Centre.”

Michael Sandler, CEO, Association of Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC –

“Nurses and nurse practitioners of B.C. are pleased to see that the knowledge, skills and expertise of the entire health-care team will be utilized to improve access to health care for all British Columbians through First Nations wellness centres. We believe that this approach will be pivotal in ensuring B.C. families can access health-care services, and we are excited to see the opening of one in Williams Lake.”

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