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2014-05-21 at 14:11

Flooding stress

By Jamie Smith,
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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.

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hey_buddy says:
I work near the Victoria Inn and have met some of the people from Kashechewan. All of them have been gracious and great to deal with. You can sense some feel a bit out of their element and I feel for some of them as they adjust to their temporary surroundings. It's nice to hear that they have positive things to say about their host community!
5/22/2014 8:01:26 PM
Commonsense says:
Why is the federal government delaying in relocating this community, if this is the case?
And, is it correct that our City is being re-imbursed for all costs related to administering this evacuation, as well as the services we are providing?
Feds need to step up and take action to prevent this community from having to be taken from their community annually.
What is the condition of their homes, when they do return? Hopefully, they don't go home to mouldy conditions.
5/22/2014 10:48:55 PM
Shortpeter says:
From the Wawatay News online, the voice of the First Nation. In 2006 an advisor to Indian Affairs recommended relocation, but the community voted not to relocate. Out of 600 residents, 50 showed up to vote. It was unanimous.
5/24/2014 9:18:42 AM
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