By Rosalind Russell – The Wiikwemkoong Elders Home Capital Campaign will officially launch its campaign next week.
A few events have been held since the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory and the committee announced their campaign last fall, but the official launch will see some major funding partners coming forward.
Speakers will include Chief Rachel Manitowabi, Campaign Co-Chairs Duke Peltier and Walter Manitowabi, Elders Home resident Jet Francis, and other invited guests.
Walter Manitowabi says the event is being held to welcome major funding partners including TD Bank and Hydro One.
He explains that the existing nursing home does not meet current regulations as set out by the Ontario government and will shut down by June 2025 forcing residents to move elsewhere, so the campaign will focus on building a new facility.
Wiikwemkoong Nursing Home has also launched a new fundraising website, HonouringOurElders.ca, for the campaign that will add 37 new beds to the community. The current nursing home has 59 beds, but the new home will have 96 beds.
The new home will be designed to accommodate important cultural practices, feasts and gatherings that have kept us together through good times and adversity, adds administrator Cheryl Osawabine-Peltier. She noted that the new facility will be a home, rather than an institution.
“The new building will provide each Elder with their own private room and there will be inviting common spaces that will bring the community in.”
In addition to the cultural, private and common spaces, the new home will provide facilities for traditional foods and the colour palette will benefit both the residents and staff of the elders’ home.
The architectural design and costing have been completed. The costing for the new facility, which is eligible for $10,300,000 from the Ministry of Long-Term Care and $2,700,000 in grants, is $28,000,000. That leaves $15,000,000 to be raised through the campaign.
The new build will also help protect culture by bringing families together to learn about the community’s history and way of life, will help save 56 jobs and create 25 new jobs, boosting the Wiikwemkoong economy by $5,000,000 a year. The build process will create 50 construction jobs over a two-year period and add $10,000,000 to the community. There are plenty of ways to donate and donors are invited to contact the foundation team through
The launch is set for next Wednesday in council chambers from 12:30 pm to 2 pm.