A partnership between the Red Cross and the North East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) helped graduate 10 new personal support workers in the James Bay community of Moose Factory.
The personal support workers will provide care for older adults living at home in remote northern communities.
“My next step is to work in our community to continue to support our elders with dignity and respect that they all deserve,” said class valedictorian, Natalie Cheechoo, in a release.
The training program started last November to provide culturally appropriate personal support worker training in Moose Factory.
Students from the region were able to remain in their home community as they completed their studies.
Another group of students started the program in Fort Albany, near the western coast of James Bay, in December, and will graduate in August.
“The role of a personal support worker, I believe, formalizes the helping mentality that has always existed among our people,” said Moose Factory deputy chief Earl Cheechoo, during the graduation ceremony.
“Many years ago we relied on each other in times of need and in times of crisis and we survived and grew because we were always there to help and care for each other.
"Even today when a family in our community is grieving or needs help, as a community, we rally around that family. I see the role of a personal support worker in this light – as an individual that has a calling to help others.”