FILE -- Kashechewan First Nation residents arrive in Thunder Bay after flood waters forced them from their home community earlier this month. While younger residents are doing OK in their host communities, the elders are growing stressed and frustrated with the evacuations that are now happening almost annually.
THUNDER BAY -- While the children of Kashechewan are having a good time in Thunder Bay, its chief says elders are stressed and frustrated that flooding forces them out of their homes every year.
Derek Stephen said host communities have been treating the people of Kashechewan well, including 650 in Thunder Bay, since the remote First Nation flooded last week. The help is appreciated as youth swim at local hotels and have been set up with a number of other activities.
"The kids are having fun," Stephen said at the Victoria Inn Wednesday afternoon.
"We recognize and we appreciate that."
Stephen said everyone has been working together to move things along. But a 2006 agreement with the federal government to redevelop or relocate the community has gone nowhere.
"It's always a stressful time for our community every spring," Stephen said.
"Those are still on the table but things have been moving very slowly."
Cleanup has started in the community. Stephen said more than 20 homes were flooded. But first and foremost, it's nursing station needs to reopen.
"Without the nurses in the community we cannot return anybody," he said.
Stephen expects the station to be open June 1 but the damaged homes might mean people need to stay in the city until early July.