Since 1989, Anishnawbe Health Toronto has provided medical care to Indigenous peoples, despite the fact that their spaces weren’t designed in a way which served their healthcare needs properly.
Now Toronto is receiving its first – and long overdue – Indigenous healthcare centre, with gorgeous architecture to boot.
"Anishnawbe Health 'made do' and adapted its buildings, but for clients, travelling between centres for care is an added burden on this vulnerable population and an added barrier to health," according to the Anishnawbe Health Foundation.
It will also include a traditional sweat lodge, counselling space, a teaching kitchen, a child assessment facility and more.
"Today, these facilities are extremely outdated and overcrowded, and present privacy, confidentiality and infection control risks to clients and staff. These issues make it extremely challenging to meet current standards for ambulatory healthcare facilities and compromise Anishnawbe Health Toronto’s capacity to deliver critical programs and services."
In order to provide proper care to those who need it, Anishnawbe Health Toronto purchased 2.4 acres of land in the West Don lands from the province to build a new Indigenous Health Centre
According to the Toronto Star the organization is almost at its funding goal of $10 million. They are just $3.5 million away from the target.
Toronto Star Indigenous Issues Columnist Tanya Talaga said the new facility will be a welcomed improvement for indigenous healthcare.
"Canada has a woeful history of two-tier health care for Indigenous people, rooted in racism and dating back to the era of government-funded Indian Residential Schools," she wrote.
"Having one health care centre to call our own should be the standard — a place where, when you walk in the door, where you are not judged."
Urban Strategies has been retained by Anishnawbe Health Toronto to provide strategic design input and the result are spectacular – featuring organic, curved exteriors and Indigenous artwork on its exterior.
The new health centre plans to break ground within the year.