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The facility offers an array of health services under one roof, with more than 100 staff who are mostly Mi’kmaq. (CBC) The largest on-reserve health centre in Atlantic Canada opened in Eskasoni, N.S., on Friday.

The facility offers doctors, dentists, a pharmacy, mental wellness and other services under one roof, with more than 100 staff who are mostly Mi’kmaq.

Chief Leroy Denny said everyone speaks Mi’kmaq at the new health centre.

"It’s really important to have our own Mi’kmaq-speaking nurses and I’m hoping we will have a Mi’kmaq-speaking doctor soon as well," said Denny.

Nurse Elena Bernard said working at the centre, in her own community, will be her dream job. Nurse Elena Bernard says it’s a dream job to work in her own community of Eskasoni. (CBC) "I think it makes my job more worthwhile," said Bernard. "Just being able to interact with the elders especially in our first language says a whole lot. For their care and the whole interaction."

Nurse Terrence Bernard said offering services in Mi’kmaq helps breaks down challenging language barriers in health care.

The facility cost $10 million to build. Eskasoni First Nation contributed $3.5 million to the project.

"Our new health centre allows for our community members from all ages to have access to vital health services right here in our community," said Denny.

With files from Gary Mansfield

Read more articles at CBC Nova Scotia

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