Ahthakakoop Cree Nation, in partnership with the province, has chosen a site for their planned Urgent Care Centre in Saskatoon.

The Cree nation has chosen the site of the Pleasant Hill Elementary School for the new facility – a block away from St. Pauls Hospital.

The school will be closing at the end of this school year and will be demolished to make room for the new urgent care centre with construction beginning sometime in the coming years.

When complete, the facility will provide care that requires urgent attention, but may not be considered a life-threatening emergency. The centre will run 24 hours a day.

The planned facility came together through a partnership between the province and Ahtahkakoop Cree Developments – the economic development arm of the Cree nation.

We are pleased to announce the land we are standing on now is the preferred location for the new Urgent Care Centre,” said Minister of Health Paul Merriman at an event announcing the location on Friday morning. “We believe this facility will offer tremendous benefits to Saskatoon residents.”

The Urgent Care Centre will be built and owned by Ahtahkakoop Cree Developments and will be leased to the Saskatchewan Health Authority for operation.

This is historic for us as a first Nation,” said Ray Ahenakew, Board Chair for Ahtahkakoop Cree Developments. “I think it is going to be a great example of what we can do in partnership with the province. “

Ahenakew says they plan to leave pieces of the Pleasant Hill school during the rebuild to honour the history of the school. He also says plans are in the works to make the land urban reserve land for Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation.

According to the province, a similar Urgent Care Centre in Regina is already over 50 percent complete.

(PHOTO – Paul Merriman (Left) and Ray Ahenakew (Right) speak at the announcement of a location for the Urgent Care Cetnre in Saskatoon.  Photos by Joel Willick.)