October 07, 2019

Chisasibi (October 7, 2019) – The Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay  and  the  Cree  Nation  Government  join  in  celebrating  the  announcement  of construction  of  a  new  Eeyou-Eenou  Regional  Health  Centre  in  Chisasibi.  CBHSSJB Chairperson  Bella  Moses  Petawabano  and  Grand  Chief  Dr.  Abel  Bosum  welcomed representatives of the Quebec Government to Chisasibi for the announcement.

The project was announced during a visit to Chisasibi by Danielle McCann, the Minister of   Health   and   Social   Services,   with   Sylvie   D’Amours,   Minister   Responsible   for Indigenous Affairs, joined by Denis Lamothe, MNA for Ungava.

Funding for the project is from the Quebec Government, and is linked to a new five-year funding agreement that was signed the same day as the Health Centre announcement. The CBHSSJB will manage the project and will own and operate the new Centre.

The new $300M, 20,000 m2  facility will combine a 52-bed hospital for the population of Eeyou  Istchee  (approximately  20,000),  and  a  Community  Miyupimaatisiiun  Centre (CMC),  offering  front-line  services  and  community  health  for  the  local  population  of Chisasibi. The new Regional Health Centre is scheduled for completion by 2025.

This  new  facility  will  replace  an  outdated  hospital  open  since  1980,  and  community health  services  that  are  now  housed  in  trailers.  The  current  hospital  has  no  surgical capacity  and  very  limited  space  to  serve  a  growing  community  of  5,000  people  in Chisasibi,  as  well  as  the  other  Cree  communities  that  rely  on  Chisasibi  for  hospital services.

The  new  Eeyou-Eenou  Regional  Health  Centre  will  be  equipped  with  state  of  the  art medical,  telemedecine  and  diagnostic  technologies  to  serve  the  population  in  the region.  The  nearest  hospital  centre  is  almost  1000  km  away,  in  Val-d’Or,  making Chisasibi an important regional hub for medical services.


“The  construction  of  a  new  Regional  Health  Centre  that  will  serve  all  of  our people, not only the people of Chisasibi, is a major milestone in providing better access  to  services  on  the  Territory.  This  new  facility  will  enable  us  to  provide many  services  currently  not  offered  in  Eeyou  Istchee,  and  to  enhance  many others. All of these are crucial to the well-being of our people, to our commitment to bring Miyupimaatisiiun to the people of Eeyou Istchee.”

Chairperson Bella Moses Petawabano

Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay

The Regional Health Centre will be a big facility, but it is not just about steel and concrete. First and foremost, it’s about people – responding to the human needs of the Crees through human care. But the new facility is concrete in a sense: it gives  concrete  expression  to  the  vision  in  Section  14  of  the  James  Bay  and Northern Quebec Agreement of bringing health and social services home to the Crees  of  Eeyou  Istchee.  This  is  the  vision  restated  in  the  Board’s  Strategic Regional Plan.”

Grand Chief Dr. Abel Bosum Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) / Cree Nation Government


The   new   Eeyou-Eenou   Regional   Health   Centre   will   provide   a   culturally   safe environment  designed  around  community  needs.  The  lack  of  many  services  in  the region currently means that people often have to travel to Val-d’Or or Montreal, which is costly, and places pressure on other parts of the health network.

New hospital services that will be offered in the Regional Health Centre, and that are not currently available in the region, include:

·  Oncology (chemotherapy)

·  Surgery

·  Increased diagnostic services (CT scan)

·  Gynecology and obstetrics, in response to the goal to bring birth back to the


·  Mental health and addictions services, for increased cultural safety

·  Sleep lab to diagnose sleep disorders, which are very common

·  Dedicated space for palliative care, adapted to respect Cree cultural practices

·  Day care

The old hospital building will be repurposed and the site of the new Centre will be in a central location in the community, with easy access to medical evacuation routes.

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Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay

Katherine Morrow, Tel. (418) 770-1444

Cree Nation Government

Melissa Saganash, Tel. (514) 249-8598