On World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day, we would like to share Buckley George's story with you and celebrate our colleagues' and community members’ devoted work, allowing children living with disabilities to enjoy their right to live their culture out on the Land.
In September 2019, employees of the Cree Board of Health, the Cree School Board and other entities gathered on the Land outside of Whapmagoostui for a project carried by our Disability Programs Specialized Services (DPSS) team. The group participated in traditional activities and working sessions for ten days, reflecting on accessibility issues in land-based programs.
John and Maggie George, community members of Whapmagoostui, guided the group in their discussions throughout the trip. They were the primary caretakers for their late son, Buckley George, who was born with Spina Bifida. This condition affects the spine causing physical and intellectual disabilities that range from mild to severe. The George family always put in efforts to allow Buckley to enjoy traditional ceremonies and activities. Their commitment to accessible buildings and services in their community is still visible today, allowing more Cree children to live a better life.
The Disability Programs Specialized Services (DPSS) department guides families through the process of applying for support under Jordan’s Principle