Community News

Sagkeeng First Nation, March 8, 2024.

As a member of the Southeast Disability Initiative (SDI), Sagkeeng First Nation has partnered with the University of Manitoba to improve the coordination and accessibility of programs and supports to community members with disabilities living in Sagkeeng.

As part of its efforts to address gaps identified through its work, Sagkeeng First Nation, led by the Sagkeeng Health Centre and the Southeast Disability Initiative, have initiated the construction of a first-of-its-kind supported housing complex for persons with disabilities in Sagkeeng.

The Sagkeeng Health Centre is an incorporated, fully accredited organization and has been operating to manage all health and wellness programs for the First Nation since 1981.

Funding for the 10 Unit Sagkeeng Supported Housing Complex has been provided by Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC), and Sagkeeng First Nation.

Sagkeeng First Nation is one of the largest First Nation communities in Manitoba with a total population nearing 9,000 that includes both on and off reserve membership. It is an independent community located approximately 120 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, Manitoba governed by Chief and Council.

The Southeast Disabilities Initiative began in 2017 and has had a wide-reaching impact since that time including conducting a series of surveys and needs assessments in four communities, subsequently proposing and implementing initiatives to address challenges that the communities face. The four First Nations participating in the SDI are Sagkeeng First Nation, Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, Hollow Water First Nation, Black River First Nation.

As well as establishing working relationship with the four Southeast Disabilities Initiative First Nations, collaborations with non-government organizations continue to support this important work including the University of Manitoba, Lakehead University, Kidney Foundation of Canada, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, and the National Assembly of First Nations.

The next phase of community supports will focus on the development of a model for delivering culturally appropriate programming to Sagkeeng residents living with disabilities. The programming delivery and design is intended to center around the Sagkeeng Supported Housing Complex and extend to other Sagkeeng residents living with disabilities.

Additional activities to continue implementing effective services for persons with disabilities in Sagkeeng include a series of workshops for caregivers and persons living with disabilities, advocating for residents and families navigating through the healthcare system, assisted living and aftercare supports.


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