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Northern Health unveils name of new addition at GR Baker Hospital in Quesnel

A new Indigenous companion name has been unveiled for the new Emergency Department/Intensive Care Unit addition at G.R. Baker Hospital.

Northern Health says the name was developed in partnership and consultation with neighbouring Indigenous communities including Nazko First Nation, Lhtako Dene Nation, ?Esdilagh First Nation, and Lhoosk’uz Dene First Nation.

It says it serves to reflect the region and traditional territory on which the hospital was built.

The new addition will be known as:

Dune Soonunakehududzuk
Deni Belh ?Ats’enanx
The People are Healing

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In recognition of the languages used in the region, the companion name for the addition is composed of three lines.

The first line is in Carrier, the second line in Chilcotin and then the third line is in English.

“It was great to be able to share our language (Southern Carrier). We are the people that came a long way. Our voices are very strong and so are our knowledge keepers of our land. Everything comes from the heart and mind and our voice,” said Ellie Peters, one of the Elders from Lhtako Dene who sat on the naming working group.

“Now, to see our welcome sign (Dune Soonunakehududzuk). I feel happy to walk down the hall and be part of the hospital.”

Northern Health says the addition of a companion name is an important step in reconciliation within the health care system and furthers the goal of creating a culturally-safe and welcoming environment in our facilities.

“For generations, there have been traditional names given to the various areas and spaces within this province by the First People. Seeing and hearing our languages is a form of healing and provides an immediate sense of welcome,” said Nicole Cross/Noxs Niisyuus, Vice President, Indigenous Health. “I’m inspired and encouraged by the leadership of communities and the partnership we are building.”

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