Edna Felix leads a trio of children in a Salmon Dance as hand drummers play during a ceremony unveiling plans for a new Shuswap and Secwepmc healing centre on Friday, July 24. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)

Edna Felix leads a trio of children in a Salmon Dance as hand drummers play during a ceremony unveiling plans for a new Shuswap and Secwepmc healing centre on Friday, July 24. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)

New medical building planned for Sicamous will highlight Indigenous culture

A ceremony held at the district hall on June 24 showed off plans for building.

A meeting of cultures and lots of hard work has resulted in a plan for a state of the art healing centre to be built in Sicamous.

In a ceremony held at the Sicamous district hall on Friday, July 24, government dignitaries and members of the Splatsin First Nation gathered for a first look at plans for the Shuswap and Secwepmc Healing Centre to be located at 417-425 Main Street. Construction of the new building to house offices for doctors and other medical services will be aided by a $5,923,931 grant from the federal government.

The unveiling ceremony included elements of Indigenous culture such as hand drums and a Salmon Dance. Chief Wayne Christian, who has particular expertise with healing from his time as executive director of the Round Lake Treatment Centre, summed up the importance of incorporating the Indigenous culture into medical matters; the chief said healing for the Splatsin people must walk on two legs, western medicine and indigenous tradition.

“Culture is treatment, culture is healing,” he said.

Read More: Edmonton man, 22, presumed drowned near popular Shuswap beach

Read More: Downtown Salmon Arm asks city to allow alcohol consumption during Alexander Plaza

Pam Beech, who manages Sicamous’ existing medical clinic unveiled the concept drawing for the building. The drawing shows a V-shaped structure with a towering glass-roofed solarium where the two wings meet. Beech said other elements of the vision for the centre include an organic rooftop garden and therapeutic pools and a sweat lodge behind the building.

District of Sicamous town manager Evan Parliament said the healing centre is one of a range of projects the district is partnering with Splatsin to complete. He added that the creation of the healing centre follows recommendations 21,22 and 23 set out by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Read More: Scheer calls on Trudeau to resign over WE deal

Read More: Revelstoke RCMP search for 3 suspects involved in semi-truck crash, evading police

Discussion from dignitaries inevitably dealt with the centre’s potential role in pressing public health concerns like mental health, COVID-19 and the opioid crisis. Rysz shared how he and Chief Christian had connected over plans for the facility and a shared history of loved ones lost to mental health issues.

Rysz added that the government grant would probably not be enough to bring the lofty plans for the healing centre into being on its own, but said the money would be found.

Construction of the centre is slated to begin in 2021 following a bid process.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Indigenous

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Salmon Arm artist worked with talented local fabricators to create an enormous set of steel bighorn sheep horns to greet visitors to Radium Hot Springs. (Village of Radium Hot Springs image)
Salmon Arm locals’ skills bring steel sheep horn sculpture to Radium

Adam Meikle and Idea 64 Projects made the towering horns a reality

Salmon Arm Silverbacks defenceman Kieran Ruscheinski (right) sticks close to Vernon Vipers forward Logan Lorenz during Salmon Arm’s 2-1 overtime win in B.C. Hockey League pod play Saturday, April 10, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Mack attack paces Salmon Arm Silverbacks past Vernon

Sullivan Mack scores both goals, including beautiful OT winner, in Gorillas’ 2-1 BCHL pod play win over Snakes

Machinery could be seen working to clear land behind a pair of houses on Main Street for the future site of the Shuswap and Secwepmc Healing Centre, a medical facility on Friday, April 9. The Sicamous Fire Department has been using the buildings for training exercises ahead of their demolition. (Jim Elliot/Eagle Valley News)
Snapshot: Clearing space

Land is being cleared for a new medical centre on Sicamous’ Main Street.

Winter driving conditions returned to the Coquihalla Highway on April 10. (ICBC image)
Coquihalla motorists warned of fresh snow

Five to 10 cm of snow is expected today for the mountain highway.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

Highway 97 being converted to four lanes in April 1990. This photo taken in Lake Country. (Greater Vernon Museum and Archives Photo #14025)
HISTORY: How the old Highway 97 in Lake Country got new name

Pelmewash Parkway recognizes the First Nations history in Lake Country

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Flight with COVID
Another Kelowna flight with COVID-19 exposure

Westjet flight on April 5 from Kelowna to Edmonton

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Most Read