These are the Stewards of Our Language and Culture
Wiikwemkoong Elders are not just our beloved family members. They ground our community in our culture and traditions. They are keepers and teachers of our language – Anishinabemowin. They guide our hand when important decisions need to be made for the overall wellbeing of our community. Our Elders teach our youth ensuring they understand who they are and where they come from. Ours is an oral history, and it is essential to be communicated to future generations as the core foundation of who they are – who we are.
It is our Elders who honour and protect our culture, and for 48 years the Wikwemikong Nursing Home has honoured and protected them.
They are in Danger of Being Forced out of the Community
The non-profit Wikwemikong Nursing Home is one of only four First Nations long term care facilities in Ontario and was considered a “state of the art” at the time of construction in 1972. A renovation in the 1980s increased the total capacity to 59 beds. Design standards needs have changed significantly since then and the existing facility does not meet current provincial regulations. With a waitlist of 24 applicants right now, space for 37 new beds will be required to address the community’s present and future needs.
On June 30, 2025, Wikwemikong Nursing Home’s license is set to expire. In its current state, the building will no longer be viable and our Elders will be forced to find a place to live outside of our community. It is vital to our people, our youth and to future generations that we find a solution.
“Many of us have survived the residential school system. The last thing we want to do now is be taken from our community and separated from our families. This new home will make sure that never happens again.”
James “Jet” Francis, Resident
The Best Way to Give Our Elders a Home,
and Keep Our Community Whole
After conducting an assessment to see if further renovations to the home would be a viable way to meet the new provincial standards and increase capacity, it was determined that a new home is the most cost effective and sustainable way forward.
The new Wikwemikong Nursing Home, located in the centre of the community will not only have capacity for 96 beds, but its close proximity will allow our community to maintain important family and social bonds.
Feasts and gatherings will continue to connect our community, and our youth will have access to the influence and guidance that only an Elder can provide.
This will be more than just a place where our Elders can receive excellent care. It will be a place that enables them to thrive. It will be home to our most treasured members of our community.
Possibly the Most
Meaningful Gift of Your Life
At a time when people of all backgrounds are coming together to learn about each other, understand our shared past and do the healing that must take place, this project presents a positive step forward. Your gift will be of profound importance, with impact that goes beyond the bricks and mortar it will fund. You’ll be helping to preserve a culture for generations to come.
“The timing of this project adds a layer of historic and social significance. It’s bigger than the construction of a building –
it is a chance to play a role in protecting a culture.”
Roseanne Archibald, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations