SLFNHA’s Jeremiah McKay Kabayshewekamik hostel celebrates 10th anniversary
Tim Brody - Editor
Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (SLFNHA) recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Jeremiah McKay Kabayshewekamik (JMK I) hostel.
“We are excited to celebrate 10 years since we opened the doors of our new hostel,” said James Morris, Executive Director at SLFNHA. “We would like to thank our staff for all their hard work, and all the clients who have come through these doors on their way to better health.”
A small cake cutting ceremony commemorated the event.
Prior to the opening of JMK I, the hostel was located at the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) 7th Avenue site. It had 39 beds and according to SLFNHA, it was lacking in both space and services.
Planning for the new hostel began in June 2004 in conjunction with the building of SLMHC.
Clients began moving into the new two-story, 38,000+ sq. ft., 100 bed, JMK I on February 14, 2011.
Over the past 10 years, the facility has served more than 330,000 clients.
SLFNHA shared that in the near future it will be formally announcing more growth and changes at the hostel.
“Our client services department is excited to announce the addition of a playground this summer as well as a support program for our long-term clients living in Sioux Lookout,” stated Darryl Quedent, Director of Client Services. “We continue to work towards excellent services and ensuring we meet the growing needs of our clients in their journey to better health. We are excited for changes coming this year and in the years to come.”
History of SLFNHA’s Hostel Delivery
“SLFNHA took over hostel delivery in 1995 from the Nishnawbe Gamik Friendship Centre. The hostel was originally located at 74-7th Avenue and had a total of 39 beds. A new, larger hostel was discussed and planned for as part of the Sioux Lookout Four Party Hospital Services Agreement in 1997. By 2006, the new hostel was not built and the facility was closed due to health and safety concerns. As a result, many clients stayed at local hotels in the interim. Construction of the new hostel began in 2008.
“On February 14, 2011 Jeremiah McKay Kabayshewekamik was officially opened. The 100-bed facility has been at 100% capacity since opening day having served over 320,000 clients since it opened.
“On April 2019 JMK II opened. The 120-bed facility helped fill the gap with shortage of beds and dependency on local hotels. It should be noted that the elevator at the JMK II was not in service upon the purchase of the building. Renovations to fix the elevator were completed January 2021, and this allows us to provide better service to our clients.
“In addition to the addition of the JMK II, in recent years Client Services also added a private waiting area, Interpreter, and information kiosk at the Sioux Lookout Airport for passengers waiting for connecting flights in the spring of 2019.
“For more information about Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority, visit our website at slfnha.com”