With more than 150 people in attendance, mostly women and children, Elder Cheryl Littletent begins a pipe ceremony to honour the work that’s taken place at the Four Directions Community Health Centre over the last 22 years. She’s leading this pipe ceremony at Four Directions, 3510 5th Ave. in Regina, to help close the old building and prepare for its move to a new building.
Feast in honour of Four Directions Community Health Centres’ 22 years at the 5th Avenue location. Elder Cheryl Littletent (right) overseeing the feast.
Four Directions Community Health Centre moved from its 5th Avenue location to a new location at 1504 Albert St. late last month. The new facility will provide an integration of western and traditional medical care to better serve the community it’s become an integral part of over the last two decades.
Since then, services have been moving to the new building, along with some services from the 1056 Albert St and 1080 Winnipeg St. locations. Though the new facility is now open, not all services will be available on immediately.
“We’re in the midst of moving from three locations so there may be some service and program disruptions over the next few weeks as we get settled,” said Laveena Tratch, Director, Primary Health Care for the Central Health Network that runs Four Directions. “Until then we still welcome all to come see our facility and attend the programming in the afternoons.”
Elder Cheryl Littletent (right) and Laveena Tratch, Director Primary Health Care for the Central Health Network in Regina smile after a successful pipe ceremony and feast.
'Anyone with pre-booked appointments in the first week or so will be directly contacted about the interim location of their appointment until the service can be provided at the new location.
Move is bittersweet
The move is bittersweet, too. Four Directions is more than just a health centre. It’s the heart of the community. It’s about cultural learning and sharing and acceptance. It’s about fellowship and safety. It’s about belonging and support.
The pipe ceremony helps to “ease the emotions” over the move, Littletent explained.
“We’ve been here so long. We’re moving to a better place,” Littletent said during the ceremony. “The good things are moving from here to there. We leave this place with good spirits and good minds and we come together in a humble way.”
The ceremony is about honouring the Ancestors in the spirit world including loved ones who have accessed Four Directions and have passed on. It includes a feast of traditional foods for the entire community. Those who attend come with containers to take the abundance of food home with them and, in turn, share with those who aren’t in attendance.
“Having this ceremony to close the facility is about experiencing it with the community and letting them know we’re still here for them,” explained Tratch. “It also allowed the care providers who work here a chance to say good bye to their home and make the transition to the new with their clients.”
But this isn’t the first pipe ceremony for Four Directions Community Health Centre. Elders, knowledge keepers, Four Directions staff, leadership and community have had the opportunity to come together on a number of occasions with pipe ceremonies and feasts throughout the transition to ensure that we continue to work together to provide the care to our shared community, including to transition the gifted name of the facility to the new building.
Better Access, Better Teamwork, Better Service
“This larger, more integrated Community Health Centre will be an anchor within the community for a full range of health care services,” explained Tratch. “Bringing these services together in one location enables us to serve patients better with easier access, extended hours and expanded service offerings. This move will also support the availability of traditional Indigenous and cultural services.”
The new centre (located at the corner of Albert Street and Dewdney Avenue) will offer easier access by bus, more parking for clients and a dedicated drop off/pickup point. Health care teams at the centre will focus on the specific needs of the community, including at-risk populations, and people with chronic conditions and complex needs.
Four Directions Community Health Centre webpage for details or
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