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Province to Build New Residences for Chemawawin Cree Nation/Easterville Nursing Team

News Release – Manitoba
June 29, 2011

New, Improved Housing Will Attract Nurses to Northern First Nation Communities: Oswald

The province will soon begin construction of a four-unit housing complex in Chemawawin Cree Nation/Easterville to accommodate four permanent full-time nurses and itinerant physicians who require accommodation on an intermittent basis, Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced today.“The current housing units are old and have mould and other issues, which make them unsuitable for our nursing staff who are an essential part of the community,” said Oswald. “We are pleased to be able to take this step to improve conditions for our medical staff in these communities.”

There will be two single detached units and one duplex unit, complete with private outdoor yards. Each housing unit will have an area of 1,727 square feet and the estimated construction cost of the complex is approximately $2 million.

“We’ve worked very closely with Chemawawin Cree Nation (CCN) to develop a plan for this new housing, which will provide an environment that will encourage long-term integration of nurses into northern First Nation communities,” said Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk. “This is an important step for staff, residents and health care in the region.”

“The creation of this new housing will enhance the recruitment and retention of nurses,” said Helga Bryant, acting chief executive officer, Norman Regional Health Authority. “Increased stability in the nursing workforce ultimately supports and enhances the quality and continuity of care for residents in this region.”

In order to maximize the local economic impact, the Chemawawin Cree Nation (CCN) will provide general contractor services for the project. All aggregate and construction materials will be sourced and supplied by CCN-owned or partnered entities, 90 to 95 per cent of employment will utilize local band members and 85 to 95 per cent of all equipment utilized in site preparation and construction will be owned and operated by local band members, said Oswald.

“We’re seeing more nurses who want to move to northern communities with their families, so we have to provide housing with private and public spaces that accommodate families,” said CCN Chief Clarence Easter. “This new housing will help ensure that we have the nursing staff we need to enhance the health of our community, and it will also provide important economic benefits.”

Chemawawin Cree Nation/Easterville is a remote community situated on the south shore of Cedar Lake, approximately 200 kilometres from the town of The Pas and 100 km from the town of Grand Rapids/Misipawistik Cree Nation.

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