© Patrick Duchesneau
The customary groundbreaking ceremony officially launched the expansion work after a five-year waiting period. From left to right: Goeffrey Kelley, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs; Yves Bolduc, Minister of Health and Social Services; Jocelyne Sauvé, Public Health Director; Rhonda Kirby, Mohawk Council of Kahnawake; Susan Horne, General Director of Kateri Memorial; Joe Styres, President of the Board, Kateri Memorial.
KAHNAWAKE – Minister of Health and Social Services Yves Bolduc came to Kahnawake on July 25 to attend the official start of the expansion work for Kateri Memorial Hospital.
At an approximate cost of $26.8 M, 25 rooms and five short-term beds will be added to the existing hospital. These new accommodations should ensure the hospital’s sustainability for the next 20 years.
The medical imagery equipment service will also be enlarged for a total area of almost 6,000 square meters. The cost of the project will be shared between the government ($21 M) and Kateri Memorial Hospital ($5.7 M).
This new hospital wing will enable personnel to provide a higher degree of traditional medical care to patients, but not to the extent of replacing modern medicine, Geoffrey Kelley pointed out, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. “They are complementary technologies aligned with western practices. We don’t want to replace modern medicine”, Mr. Kelley added, saying that traditional medicine can be useful in preventing and treating diseases that are more or less understood.
Despite an initial design phase in 2007, there was a waiting period of five years before the first official groundbreaking ceremony took place. This long wait was partly due to the hospital’s complex management. “There was an overlapping of federal, provincial, and Mohawk community jurisdictions. We even had to introduce legislation that would allow us to finance this project”, explained Minister Kelley.