A Recently Built Hub Becomes a New Home Base

yaqan nuʔkiy First Nation consolidates its community, administrative and health services.

3 minute read

yaqan nuʔkiy First Nation consolidates its community, administrative and health services

Large windows open to expansive views of the verdant Creston Valley and sunlight streams into the high, vaulted ceilings. The shape of the building’s roof was inspired by the sturgeon nose canoe—an important component of yaqan nuʔkiy tradition—and other architectural and interior design elements reflect the First Nation’s culture.

This is the Wilfred Jacobs Building: a newly opened centre offering community and health services to members of the yaqan nuʔkiy First Nation. Heather Suttie, Chief Executive Officer, explains that the building was named “in memory of an esteemed community elder and leader.”

It was designed to integrate cultural elements, and sustainability and energy efficiency are a priority. Features include an integrated passive solar design, LED lighting, additional insulation and energy-efficient windows.

The Trust helped support the part of the building that enables members to access a wealth of resources: children’s programming; traditional healing services; nutrition classes; membership services; support for housing, employment and post-secondary studies; and much more.

Also, “The new building offers a private, well-equipped clinic for band members,” says Suttie, built with support from the First Nations Health Authority. With a full-time nurse and other part-time medical professionals, services include trauma counselling, addiction support services, diabetes support, foot care, home support and medical travel support. “Our priority is to indigenize and personalize medical care.”

Outside, there is also a community market garden and farm, aimed at enhancing both individual health and local food sovereignty.

By having key services together—community services, administration and health—yaqan nuɁkiy members now have easier access to staff and services and an enhanced opportunity to be involved in community matters.

yaqan nuʔkiy isn’t the only First Nation to boast a recent, modern, efficient community-purpose building. In its aim to help First Nations address their needs and improve the well-being of their members, the Trust has also supported community-purpose buildings in ʔakisq̓nuk, Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi’it and ʔaq̓am.

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