Kahkewistahaw First Nation
Kahkewistahaw First Nation found they had a real need for a program to help elders and assist those independent elders who want to remain in their own homes. The Homecare Program and the Elder Program have met some of these needs; both programs were made possible with the funds distributed by First Nations Trust. Being able to provide utilities, "life line" devices for emergency calls and home care assistance has "improved the quality of life for our Elders and their families. It's very stressful for our Elders and their families, when Elders are hospitalized or receive care away from the community."
For Christine McKay, it has meant not having to leave her home; she explained, "The extra support decreases the stress and struggle to make ends meet. It gives us the freedom to do other things." Christine McKay believes such programs help ensure their ways continue because Elders are able to be involved on a daily basis and it helps "stop the loss of culture and language.”
Marjorie Taypotat, the great granddaughter of Kahkewistahaw appreciates the effort made by Chief and Council to care for their Elders. She says, that by taking care and including Elders in community activities… much is learned. Recently, Mrs. Taypotat was honoured to cut the ribbon at the opening of the new school. It was a moment of mixed emotions for her, because in her day children were taken from their homes to residential school; whereas her grandchildren can live at home while they attend school. Mrs. Taypotat remembers the old village style living when she looks out her window and can see her sons' homes and her grandchildren playing with their cousins. The old days also came to mind recently as she took her morning walk and found she was sharing her path with a bear. She keeps busy doing her own housework and making lunches for family. The Home Care program comes in to do some of the heavier work for her, and for this she is grateful. Marjorie Taypotat also keeps active attending ball practices and games; she believes paying attention to children encourages them to work harder.