(May 4, 2021) “An anonymous donor is willing to cover the cost to build on Six Nations of the Grand River what would be the first Indigenous hospice in Canada,” The Brantford Expositor reported on April 27.
Canada’s largest Indigenous nation, Six Nations of the Grand River, is located just outside Brantford Ontario, has roughly 27 thousand members, about 13,000 of whom live on the reserve. Six Nations includes the Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca, Oneida, and Tuscarora Nations.
The Expositor reports community health care nurses say the family will provide the building materials, build it according to the communities needs and “turn the key over to us.”
Six Nations elected council is being asked to consider providing five acres of land needed for the building.
Lori Davis Hill, director of Six Nations Health Services, was quoted as saying she’s “very aware of the need to have continuum of care across all our health services” and that plans for the hospice are “very rapidly developing.”
International Journal of Indigenous Health published a study in 2016 about palliative care at Six Nations of the Grand River,
The paper describes the “development and implementation of a community-based palliative care program in Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, Ontario, Canada. Six Nations innovative program is grounded in a vision to provide access to quality palliative care at home and incorporate Haudenosaunee traditional teachings.”
Among the outcomes was “access to palliative care education and mentorship for local healthcare providers; incorporation of traditional teachings to support clients and staff dealing with death, dying, grief, and loss; and creation of a palliative care resources for Six Nations Health Services.”
The authors of the study were Verna Fruch and Lori Monture, both Six Nations’ health providers. Verna Fruch, BSc, RN, a Mohawk of the Turtle Clan was the community facilitator of the research in Six Nations of the Grand River. Lori Monture, RN, manager of Six Nations Long Term Care/Home and Community Care Program and Mohawk of the Wolf Clan was community lead and chair of the Project Advisory Committee and Leadership team.
Holly Prince, MSW from Anishinaabekwe of the Red Rock Indian Band co-investigator and project manager of the research project. Mary Lou Kelley, MSW, PhD, professor emeritus of the School of Social Work at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario was the principal researcher.
Both Fruch and Monture spoke at last week’s council meeting.
“When health-care workers are not of the same cultural background as the patient, communication and decision-making is challenging,” said Monture.
“Once it’s built, we have to keep it running,” said Fruch.
Funding for staffing, equipment, furniture, and medical supplies would have to be secured through the province or community fundraising. A board of governors also would need to be assembled. About half of the $280,000 annual budget would need to be raised each year.
Six Nations of the Grand River is said to be is the only reserve in North America where representatives of all six Haudenosaunee Nations live together, and has been unified since 1722 after the Haudenosaunne people took the side of the British during the American Revolutionary War.
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