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Medicine Wheel Room re-Named to

Margaret MacDonald Medicine Wheel Room

Northern Lights Health Centre Honors Former Foundation Board Member



In a special celebration held today, the family and friends of the late Margaret MacDonald gathered to cut the ribbon for the re-naming of the Medicine Wheel Room. The Medicine Wheel Room, located on the Continuing Care floor of the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre, has long been a place dedicated to contemplation, spiritual renewal, and celebration. Today during a prayer, drumming and smudge ceremony, the room was rededicated to honor Fort McKay elder, Margaret Marie MacDonald.


The naming of the room was made possible through the efforts of Chief and Council of the Fort McKay First Nation who wished to recognize Margaret for her outstanding contributions to Fort McKay and the larger Wood Buffalo region. She was instrumental in community development in Fort McKay and was a strong supporter of local and regional organizations, events, and charities.


An astute businesswoman and entrepreneur, Margaret was also the first Aboriginal member of the Northern Lights Health Foundation Board of Directors where she provided governance in support of health care programs and service and championed the Aboriginal Liaison position. Margaret’s legacy of compassion and caring and supporting health programs beyond the hospital setting has endured to this day.


Alberta Health Services (AHS) recognizes facilities and services on traditional Indigenous territories and provides accessible, appropriate health services for First Nations, Metis and Inuit people in Alberta. The Margaret MacDonald Medicine Wheel at the Northern Lights Health Centre represents the alignment and continuous interaction of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health for patients, residents and families in our care.


The Fort McKay First Nation also commissioned a painting for the occasion from renowned artist, and Margaret’s son, Frederick R. McDonald.  The painting was unveiled at the dedication ceremony. And, to ensure that prayer and song will always have accompaniment in the room, four new drums were commissioned from Nicholas Giant. Nick opened the proceedings with an smudge and honor song.


Members of the Northern Lights Health Foundation Board of Directors and staff, along with AHS leadership and staff, were on hand to pay their respects and acknowledge Margaret’s outstanding exceptional contributions.


Painting of Margaret MacDonald by Frederick R. McDonald

Nicholas Giant with the drums created for the Margaret MacDonald Medicine Wheel Room


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