The big moment has finally arrived and was celebrated on January 22, 2001 when a kidney dialysis clinic was officially opened in the Chibougoumou hospital. No longer would Crees have to go to Montreal for dialysis treatments. Unfortunately the Nation couldn’t make it to the ceremonies marking the arrival of the kidney dialysis units.

Fortunately for us, the crew from Waashtaau Communications was on hand and sent us these photos so we could bring them to you.

A big thanks goes out to Derek, Dan and to Ian for taking the time to send them to us via internet.

This is a photo of youth Grand Chief Ashley Iseroff giving James A. Gunner an award. Gunner’s walk through the Heartland of Eeyou Istchee, called Bringing Our People Home, helped to raise the money that made the kidney dialysis clinic possible. Both Crees and non-Cree residents in and surrounding Chibougoumou will benefit from this Cree initiative.

There were seven walkers who completed the entire journey through the heartland of Eeyou Istchee from Whapmagoustui to Mistissini stopping at every one of the Eastern James Bay communities. They were given awards at the opening of the diaysis unit in recognition of their efforts. The Crees honoured were James a. Gunner, John Rabbitskin, Minnie Wapachee, Abraham Ottereyes, “John John” Sam, Charlie Petawabino and John S. Matoush. As a result of the walk there are five hemo-dialysis machines in the Chibougamau Hospital. A job well done!