NESKANTAGA – Neskantaga First Nation today clarified that they have not been approached by, nor have endorsed, the GoFundMe online fundraising campaign created on September 15, 2019, entitled “Neskantaga Water Crisis.” They are urging the public to reconsider their donations to this crowdfunding platform.
Instead, they are inviting the public to donate to the Gathering of Rivers for Community Care, a registered Canadian charity they are affiliated with through Matawa First Nations Management. This charity has been in operation since 2011 and donors will receive an income tax receipt.
Donations can made to the “Matawa Communities Circle of Giving-Neskantaga First Nation” category found at this link: www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/id/102473/. Funds will go towards the community’s self-evacuation needs.
On Saturday, September 14, 2019 the community issued an elevated State of Emergency with respect to the denial of an emergency evacuation request made to Indigenous Services Canada due to an ongoing water crisis. On Sunday, September 15, 2019, the community self-evacuated almost ½ of the people identified as Stage 1 (most vulnerable). They will be self-evacuating the remaining Stage 1 members today pending the weather and will be moving on to self- evacuating those identified as Stage 2 in the near future.
Neskantaga First Nation Chief Chris Moonias stated, “We thank those that meant well in setting up and donating to the crowdfunding GoFundMe page but we want to go with a recognized charity or not-for-profit organization at this time.”