At Tsawaayuus,
we have an underlying respect for who people are

Our Mission:

“Tsawaayuus is a unique, responsibly managed, Multi-level Care Facility whose mission is to provide holistic, culturally competent care in a family-like environment with an emphasis on Aboriginal People.”

Our Philosophy:

At Tsawaayuus we have an underlying respect for who people are. We strive to keep each Resident as well as they can be. We accept each Resident as a unique whole person physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and culturally.

Tsawaayuus plays a role in the community which includes education. We challenge and act against racism. Each Resident has a family they are important to whether it is the family within Tsawaayuus or their relatives in the community.

The house we maintain for Residents is comfortable and warm. Care provided is supportive and culturally appropriate to the individual. We are relationship focused. Staff are valued for the skills, knowledge and abilities they bring to Tsawaayuus. They are responsible to know how to provide safe care and maintain a safe environment for Residents. Staff are open to learning and sharing. We are cooperative as a team and we have concern for one another.

December 13, 1995

Our Facility:

Tsawaayuus is a Multi-level Care Facility located in Port Alberni, BC and licensed under the Hospital Licensing Act.

Your Help is Needed! Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate in all of our activities for the benefit of Residents at Tsawaayuus. We always need more volunteers.

Our Governance:

Tsawaayuus is operated under the direction of the Westcoast Native Health Care Society and contracts with the Ministry of Health to provide service under the Continuing Care Facility Act. Funding is received from the Provincial Ministry of Health.

Our History

In 1985, a group of ladies had a dream of building a safe home for Native Elders which would also hire Native employees to look after the Elders.

The ladies who had the vision of a home for elders participated in tag days, had bake sales, hosted bingos and sponsored raffles. This small group of very diligent workers continued fund raising for many years.

The United Native Nation’s (UNN) local was a driving force behind the project. Planning meetings took place once a month with provincial and federal government representatives as well as other agencies.

The UNN raised $75,000 over 4 years. A grant for $100,000 was received from the First Citizen Fund and $75,000 was received from the Native Economic Development Corporation.

In 1989, the BC Ministry of Health announced there would be 100 long-term care beds allocated to Port Alberni. Dave Haggard was a key figure in securing 30 beds for the new Native Elders Home. Otherwise, all of the one hundred beds would have been allocated to another agency.

In 1990 the ground was broken at our facility site on Russell Place and in 1992 Tsawaayuus (Rainbow Gardens) opened its doors.

The first resident to live in the facility was Joshua Edgar from Dididaht. He was 99 years old.