Kiknu, which means “our home” in Mi’kmaq, will be Nova Scotia’s first long term care home on a First Nation community. It will be home to 48 community elders who will continue to be surrounded by Mi’kmaq culture and traditions.

Philosophy of service

Fundamental to Kiknu, is the belief that residents who call it home will have a say in how they live their lives and the care they receive, including the kind of foods served, the activities that take place and even overall operations. This is called “resident-directed” care. 

A partnership with Shannex

Shannex will act as an operating partner, alongside the First Nations community of Eskasoni, in the development of this new home. This means, Shannex will manage the development of the home overseeing the construction, preparedness, operations and management. Eskasoni will collaborate on design, programming and staffing to ensure a care program and home environment is developed that reflects the values and attitudes of our greater community. 

Community Consultation

As the first long term care home on a First Nation community in Nova Scotia, it was important to incorporate feedback from Eskasoni Elders and Band Council on what they would like to see come to life for the new home.

All feedback has been integrated into the planning and development of Kiknu. Following are some important themes heard from the community through the consultation.

Quality of Life, Wellness and Safety

Ensuring a residents first approach to care and service will ensure Kiknu is supporting independence, promoting dignity and placing value on the choices of residents for how they want to live their lives.  Mi’kmaq language will be spoken in the home, there are plans to hold language and sensitivity training, and building signage will be bilingual. There will be a small common area where cultural elements can be showcased and enjoyed by everyone in the community and traditional food options will be incorporated on the menu based on resident preferences.

The home will also operate in a manner that protects the health and safety of residents, employees, families, volunteers and the general public consistent with operating policies and procedures that are developed by subject matter experts and clinical leaders in long term care and approved by the Department of Seniors and Long Term Care. 


This new home for elders will offer health care and services that allow residents to live comfortably with dignity, while celebrating Mi’kmaq culture. Kiknu will have private rooms and washrooms, 24-hour care and service by on-site health professionals, a designated space for palliative care, laundry service, an on-site salon/barber and internet and cable in each room. 

Social Activities

There will be plenty of recreation and rehabilitation services for residents at There will be plenty of recreation and rehabilitation services for residents at Kiknu, including daily programs, celebrations and physical activities that will be developed based on the preferences of residents. Mi’kmaq culture and traditions will be incorporated into all activities such as singing, drumming, storytelling and gardening.

Building Design

Mi’kmaq culture has been a primary consideration in the building design which is intended to reflect the people and community of Eskasoni while promoting resident wellness and safety. This includes a traditional building structure located on beautiful, landscaped grounds featuring a garden and/or a wigwam. Eskasoni family trees or clans will be featured on the walls and a warm and inviting atmosphere with plenty of seating for both residents and visitors will be offered throughout the home. 

Community Connections

The greater Eskasoni community will continue to be engaged in the operation of the home and there will be space within the home that can act as a community hub, providing resources, programs and opportunities for engagement with residents. Some ideas being considered are having a community liaison, community partnerships and newsletters.

Stay connected.

For more information about Kiknu.