In 2004, Naja Isabelle Home was completed by the Government of Nunavut to replace the Ste. Theresa Home, which operated since the 1940's. The facility began operating in January 2005 at a cost $3.8 million, although
June 22, 2005 marked its official opening with assistance from Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq and Tamia, a resident of the home. Dozens of the community's 350 residents watched the ceremony from the bottom of a flight of stairs, while others leaned on the roofs of their pick-up trucks.
Initially, ten clients from across Nunavut, ranging from infants to mature adults were attended to by Chesterfield Inlet residents who took special training developed by Nunavut Arctic College and the Pimakslirvik Corporation.
Naja, which means sister in Inuktitut, refers to Sister Therese Isabelle, a Grey Nun who moved north in 1968 and spent more than 15 years working at the community's St. Theresa Hospital - originally operated by the Diocese of Hudson's Bay beginning in the 1940s. The photo shows St. Theresa Hospital in 1944. In 1998 she retired after having served for almost 15 years. Chesterfield Inlet was both her first and last post.
A modern Care Facility
This care facility is home to handicapped individuals, under the age of 40, requiring medical intervention. In most cases, families can not cope with their disabilities. Disabilities are largely the result of genetic or birth defects. Their injuries are not alcohol related. Residents are from all over Nunavut region.
The management and staff at Naja are very caring individuals and look after the daily, routine needs of those in their care, many of whom are children. They dress, bath and feed them in whatever capacity is required. Many of them require ongoing, daily, physical therapy, which is provided by the nursing team. From time to time, these children may need additional medical assistance from outside Chesterfield Inlet, so staff have to prepare them for a flight to another medical facility. Residents living at Naja Isabelle Home can stay until they are 40 years of age. Many though, become well enough to go to the group home in Rankin Inlet or to return to their own homes.
Another important aspect of the Naja Team is to provide stimulation to their residents. They have a room with various machines, which provides sensory stimulation as well as a large screen TV. In addition, the staff do their best to to keep them stimulated by talking and playing with them as much as possible.
The equipment in the facility is up to date and state of the art. The bathing room is "high tech" as can be seen in the following photos.
Naja Isabelle Home employs approximately 35 full time and part time workers, mostly Inuit support workers, cleaners and cooks makes the facility the largest employer in Chesterfield Inlet. There are 4 nurses on staff whom have been recruited from the all over Canada. This staff includes students/trainees (team leaders) and 'Licensed Practical Nurses'. If you are interested in employment at Naja Isabelle Home, please go to our employment page.