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Rama First Nation and OSMH establish symbolic circle

8/12/2008 12:00:00 AM

One of the most powerful and inspirational symbols of First Nation culture now has a permanent home on the campus of Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) with today’s opening of the Chippewas of Rama Mnjikaning Circle. 


Stretching 22-feet in diameter, the Chippewas of Rama Mnjikaning Circle is embedded into the elevated concrete circle prominently located between the Dialysis entrance to the hospital and the Kiwanis Children’s Centre. Similar to unity buttons, the Circle has been divided into four equal sections and painted yellow, red, black and white, signifying equality and respect for all people.   A traditional native maple tree was planted today in the centre of the Circle as part of the ceremony that included dignitaries from Rama First Nation, the City of Orillia, the Province of Ontario, OSMH and Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Foundation.


“The most important part of a Circle is the centre, because that is where the spirits of the four colours meet,” said Sharon Stinson-Henry, Chief of Rama First Nation. “This Circle is here for the benefit of all those who come to this hospital in need of care.” 


As part of the re-development of OSMH, the Rama First Nation community contributed more than $500,000 to the 2002 capital campaign. In recognition of their generous gift, the hospital incorporated this symbol of unity onto the property.


“We recognize the importance and the cost of quality healthcare to our people and all residents of Orillia,” said Kevin Wassegijig, the newly installed Board Chair of Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Foundation. “I’m proud to be part of the community that contributed to the cause and I’m excited to be part of the Foundation, continuing to raise much needed dollars for the hospital.”


“The Chippewas of Rama First Nation are an integral part of the fabric of our community and we are grateful to them for their ongoing support of the hospital and establishment of this wonderful monument for all to enjoy,” said Elisabeth Riley, President and CEO of OSMH. 


“As we hope the presence of this circle will provide a sense of comfort and healing to the many patients who come through our door, I’m also struck by the symbolism it represents to our organization as we continue along our own healing path of rebuilding the trust and confidence of everyone in the community.”   



The Chippewas of Rama First Nation is a proud progressive First Nation community. Throughout its history, the Rama First Nation has been known as a caring, sharing people. Its Chippewa territory is known asthe gathering place’ where travellers rested before continuing on their journey, where great meetings were held and important agreements signed. Rama First Nation is an exciting place to live, work and visit, and is located 90-minutes north of Toronto, on approximately 2,500 acres of interspersed land on the eastern shore of Lake Couchiching.


Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) is a 230-bed hospital located in Orillia, Ontario (just 114 kilometres north of Toronto) that serves more than 440,000 residents in North Simcoe Muskoka. OSMH provides a comprehensive range of programs and services, including medical, surgical and emergency care, dialysis, obstetrical and paediatric care, oncology, complex continuing care, mental health and rehabilitation services. While it remains Orillia’s community hospital, OSMH has a new role as a regional healthcare centre. For more information please visit our website at www.osmh.on.ca.


For more information please contact:

Terry Dyni, Director, Community Relations

Tel: (705) 327-9179

Email: tadyni@osmh.on.ca

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