Doris Auckland is all smiles as she cuts the ribbon to officially open the new Metlakatla Health Centre.

Metlakatla opens health centre

Metlakatla celebrated the opening of its new health centre last week, also taking the opportunity to christen its new landing craft vessel.

After five years in the making, the Village of Metlakatla celebrated the opening of its new health centre last week, also taking the opportunity to christen its new landing craft vessel.

The Oct. 2 event kicked off with Metlakatla Coun. Alvin Leask christening the landing craft vessel, followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony at the health centre.

“Five years ago this was just an idea. Now it’s blossomed into a centre to meet all of our health needs,” said Tara Leighton, Metlakatla health director.

Architectural firm David Nairne and Associates worked on the building, which has both traditional and modern elements. The exterior consists of yellow cedar panelling extracted from the area and is heated by geothermal energy.

The centre offers for a more private and confidential setting, with staff offering an array of services such as home care, immunizations and a new kitchen for the Meals on Wheels program to the Village of Metlakatla. Since the facility’s soft opening in spring, home care nurse Cynthia Reece has provided home care and assessments to residents.

The centre was funded by Health Canada, the First Nations Health Authority and the Metlakatla Governing Council.

Prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony, the Metlakatla Transport was unveiled and christened. Built for band operations, maintenance and community needs, the vessel can carry a limited amount of supplies and can be used for charters.

The Metlakatla Transport was created in partnership with Broadwater Industries, and was completed at the end of August. It was funded by the Metlakatla Governing Council.