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Cree Health Board acquires 48 housing units and office building from Cree Nation of Chisasibi

March 19, 2018
Daniel St-Amour and Davey Bobbish

Today, March 19, 2018 in Chisasibi, the Cree Board of Health and Social Services acquired major properties from the Cree Nation of Chisasibi: 48 newly built housing units and the renovated former arena at 12 Maamuu Road.

48 new housing units were built for the Cree Health Board by the Cree Nation of Chisasibi, which managed the project and coordinated construction. The houses, consisting of 16 12-unit triplexes in southeast Chisasibi, were built by the firms Groleau Wasgahegan Development Inc. and Consortium Saskuunan-Desfor-Cevico. The deal was approved by the Ministry of Health and Social Services of Quebec, which provided the funding for the Cree Health Board to acquire the completed buildings. 

Housing delivered “On time and on budget”

 “Our job is to make sure that local resources are maximized,” said Chisasibi Chief Davey Bobbish at the signing of the sales agreement. The Cree Nation of Chisasibi worked with contractors to ensure that the project was completed using a majority Cree labour force. Chief Bobbish commended his team for their effective management of the project, which was delivered “on time and on budget” to the Cree Health Board. 

In addition to the housing units, the Cree Health Board purchased the former arena at 12 Maamuu in the centre of the community, which has been renovated and converted to office space. 

Daniel St-Amour, Executive Director of the Cree Health Board, spoke of the positive relationship that exists between the Cree Health Board and the Cree Nation of Chisasibi. The purchase of the buildings will have a direct positive impact on the quality of services, he said. Community Miyupimaatisiiun Centre services that are currently working in overcrowded trailers behind the Hospital will be relocated to the new building.

Growing Workforce

The Cree Health Board has a growing workforce in Chisasibi, home of the Chisasibi Hospital and site of its Regional Head Office. Rental accommodation is scarce in northern indigenous communities in Quebec, and employee housing is one of the benefits that the Cree Health Board offers to professionals hired outside the region, or to Cree beneficiaries working outside their home community. 

The acquisition of the 48 housing units will enable the Cree Health Board to move professionals such as doctors and nurses out of temporary housing, and move to fill positions that are currently vacant due to lack of housing. 

All 48 units are expected to be occupied by May 2018, and the building at 12 Maamuu is already occupied by the Cree Health Board.