Ottawa investing $13 million in Hamilton Indigenous health centre

A new Indigenous-led health centre is receiving an investment of $13 million from the federal government’s Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program.

The facility will form part of the Biindigen Well-Being Centre, a new campus that will provide integrated health, family, social and housing services. “Biindigen” is an Anishinaabemowin word meaning “welcome” or “come in.”

Announced by Minister Filomena Tassi, Parliamentary Secretary Lisa Hepfner, Member of Parliament Chad Collins, and De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre Board Chair Bryanne Smart, the Biindigen Well-Being Centre will support improved health outcomes for both the Indigenous people living in the City of Hamilton and the non-Indigenous residents of the McQuesten and surrounding neighbourhoods.

“The Biindigen Well-Being Centre will support the De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Heath Centre as it continues to provide and expand its culturally appropriate health and social services to Indigenous people in Hamilton and surrounding communities. Our government is thrilled to work with local partners in Hamilton to create an extraordinary addition to our community that will benefit us all,” said Tassi.

The Biindigen Well-Being Centre will be a multi-use community facility that will feature a unique and forward-thinking Indigenous-led model of collaborative care and learning. Through partnerships with various local organizations, the centre will host Indigenous language learning, training for medical residents, and a teaching space. The centre will provide services to people of all ages.

“The Biindigen Well-Being Centre will use a unique and innovative service model to better address the healthcare and cultural needs of Indigenous people in and around Hamilton. This type of integrated healthcare model is rooted in reconciliation and will better address the diverse needs of the community,” said Collins.

De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre (DAHC) will operate and manage the new health facility within the Biindigen Well-Being Centre, focusing on providing holistic, preventative and primary health care. DAHC already plays an essential role in helping Indigenous people in Hamilton access culturally appropriate health services. Through this new facility and partnerships with local organizations, it will be able to do more and better.

“Addressing the health concerns of Indigenous communities is acritical aspect of the calls to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Indigenous-led Biindigen Well-Being Centre will meaningfully increase access to culturally relevant programs and services for Indigenous individuals and communities in Hamilton and beyond. I am pleased that the federal government is contributing to this important project,” said Hepfner.

The program is providing $1.5 billion over five years towards green and accessible retrofits, repairs or upgrades. It aims to improve the places Canadians work, learn, play, live and come together by cutting pollution, reducing costs, and supporting thousands of good jobs. Through green and other upgrades to existing public community buildings and new builds in underserved communities, the GICB program helps ensure community facilities are inclusive, accessible, and have a long service life, while also helping Canada move towards its net-zero objectives by 2050.

At least 10 per cent of funding is allocated to projects serving First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, including Indigenous populations in urban centres.

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