Community of High Prairie celebrates as new hospital opens

Friday was a day of celebration, dancing, singing and gifts as the new High Prairie Health Complex had its official opening in High Prairie Alberta, Treaty 8 Territory.

Chris Stewart
APTN National News
Friday was a day of celebration, dancing, singing and gifts as the new High Prairie Health Complex had its official opening in High Prairie Alberta, Treaty 8 Territory.

The $228 million facility has an emergency department, acute care, a continuing care centre as well as a Health and Wellness clinic.

The new facility will allow local residents to have their health issues addressed on site including dialysis, CT scans, some surgeries, diagnostic imaging and addiction and mental health treatment.

The hospital was over a decade in planning, and the land was donated by the Peavine Metis Settlement.

Peavine Metis settlement Chair Iner Gauchier told the large gathering that while the effort was long, the results were worth it.

“We offered up what was needed alongside other groups,” said Gauchier. “This site was chosen. We are certainly happy for that and grateful. it’s a real honour.”

Metis Settlements President Gerald Cunningham is happy local residents don’t have to travel hours to Grand Prairie or Edmonton for many treatments.

“We have community members who have to travel long distances to get to the services they need that weren’t provided here. So now it’s great. We can have our services right at home,” said Cunningham.

Cunningham said this new hospital is for the community and built by the community.

“People pulling together. Communities coming together. Metis, First Nations, High Prairie, The Provincial Government. Everyone coming together and making this happen. It’s great to finally see it here.”

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Video Journalist / Edmonton

Chris Stewart has been in the media for 20 years. He has worked at CBC, Global and CTV as a news camera operator and editor. Chris joined APTN in 2012 in the Saskatoon Bureau and moved to APTN Edmonton bureau in 2015 as a Videojournalist.