Manitoba First Nation where boys switched at birth gets new $100M health centre

NORWAY HOUSE, Man. _ A northern Manitoba First Nation where several men were switched at birth is getting a new $100-million health centre. Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott says Norway House Cree Nation will get the money over the next five years. She says the health facility will provide emergency and in-patient care, as well as community-based programs. It will replace the current hospital in the community of 8,000 about 800 kilometres north of Winnipeg. Philpott says the facility will eventually be operated by the First Nation and will be the largest health centre in Manitoba under Indigenous control. Four Indigenous men were switched at birth at the Norway House hospital in 1975 and only found out about the mix-up 40 years later. An investigation by Health Canada last year said the switches were accidental and a result of standard identification procedures not being followed. “Our government is fully committed to supporting First Nations-led health transformation in our shared priority of improving health outcomes for First Nations people,” Philpott said in a statement Friday.

The health centre will include a sweat lodge, a birthing unit which includes midwifery support, an emergency room and a cultural hall with education facilities.

Norway House Chief Larson Anderson said the community is looking forward to designing and building the facility.

“This new state-of-the-art facility will not only address the health-care needs of our community, but will also create education, training and employment opportunities for our people,” he said.

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