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William Charles Health Centre Officially Opens
Rosie Bird, Chief Henry Naytowhow, Dave Nicholson
and Allen Bird cut the rawhide officially opening the health centre.
"Band members will no longer have to go all the way to Prince Albert for medical services," Band councillor Lionel Bird stated at the official opening of the new health centre for the William Charles Band.
The William Charles Indian reserve (formerly the Montreal Lake Band) has taken control of delivery and administration of health care services for its 1,300 members, the first Saskatchewan band to do so. There are 900 members living on the reserve.
Chief Henry Naytowhow of the William Charles Band and his council signed a one-year agreement on September 1, with Assistant Deputy Minister Dave Nicholson.
The signing ceremony held at the William Charles band office marks an historic event for the band. FSIN Chief Roland Crowe commended Chief Henry Naytowhow and his council for taking the initiative to run their own health programs. Chief Naytowhow says a copy of the agreement will be kept in the chiefs' office to ensure treaty is not broken in any way.
The contract also calls for delivery of extensive community health education and prevention programs, including addictions, education and referrals for treatment.
The band is in the process of developing a program to combine traditional Indian medicine and spiritualism with modern medical treatment.
Approximately 200 guests, friends and relatives witnessed the ribbon cutting ceremony by chief Henry Naytowhow assisted by Dave Nicholson. Assistant District Representative Allan Bird and Elder Rosie Bird also assisted.
A banquet hosted by the Montreal Lake Band members with traditional buffalo meat and wild rice concluded the ceremonies.
Rosie Bird, Chief Henry Naytowhow, Dave Nicholson and Allen Bird cut the rawhide officially opening the health centre.