Just before Christmas in 1999 a letter arrived from Health Canada to Chief Marvin Charlie stating that planning for a new Health Centre could begin. In the New Year, Chief Charlie arranged for a public meeting at Grassy Plains Hall and in the presence of about 200 Southsiders, including Chiefs Helen Michelle and Ray Morris, he proposed forming a funding partnership between the three Bands and the non-native Southsiders in order to build a Health Centre that would serve the entire population.
A steering committee was formed that night and planning started. The generosity and wisdom shown by Marvin Charlie got the ball rolling but the countless hours of volunteer time that has been donated since then has kept the ball rolling.
The first and crucial first year, the steering committee consisted of: Rick Neukomm, Rhonda Giesbrecht, Eileen Benedict, Peter Gagnon, Virginia Gagnon, William Wissler, Archie Charlie, Gwen Nicholas, Rise Johansen, Hayley Nielsen, Corrina Leween, Alice Bohmer, Eleanor Skin, Ray Morris, Ella Probe, Jutta Mund, Kerstin Mund, Mary Towle, Else Wilson, Pius Jack, Laura Jack, Kathy Simonds, Richard Peters, Cia Solecki, Robin Jack, Renata Hussinger, Lori Petkau, Sylvia Thomas, Dick Tom, Julia Meyer, Jan Owens, Korena Peters and Monika Erickson.
Since then others joined the ranks of what evolved into an advisory committee responsible for organizing the opening celebration of the Southside Health & Wellness Centre among other things. In addition to the above people who devoted a lot of volunteer time there were others who were involved in making this Centre a reality: Franz Nathaus, Geneva Wiseman, Daphne Ewert, Pat Calaman, Raedine Bigler, Libby Williams, Dave Williams, and Willa Wiseman. We thank you all.
Construction began in July 2002 and final completion was in April of 2003. Property was acquired from the Southside Recreation Society, (Alice Bohmer; Chairperson), and the driveway was property acquired from Clay and Darlene McIntee and Geneva Wiseman.
There was a contest held to name the building and to create a logo. Cody Gagnon won the naming contest and Cheyenne Murray created the beautiful Logo.
The Southside Health & Wellness Centre is now overseen by a Board of Directors. This Board has representation from each First Nations community, (Skin Tyee Nation, Cheslatta Carrier Nation, Nee Tahi Buhn Band), and from the Southside Community. The Centre is funded by Northern Health Authority, and Carrier Sekani Family Services. Representatives from these two organizations are also board members. Any members of the community who want a voice can call the Centre directly or can present their concerns or wishes to the representative of their community, who will bring forth these issues or ideas to the Board of Directors.