EABANETOONG FIRST NATION – After declaring a State of Emergency over two weeks ago, Eabametoong First Nation (Fort Hope) is looking for more support from the Federal Government.
Last Friday, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and Health Canada visited the community for the first time since the crisis was declared, but community leadership was left disappointed without any representatives from the Ministerial level in attendance. Eabametoong First Nation Chief Lewis Nate says; “We are very appreciative of the support that the Federal Government has provided thus far, but we are still left with the impression that the Government is not taking our State of Emergency seriously.
We have lost some of our people to this crisis; Houses are purposely being set on fire; What else needs to happen for our Treaty Partner to provide support?”
Eabametoong First Nation declared a State of Emergency following a series of violent crimes that continue to cause community members to fear for their personal safety. Since January of 2010, the First Nation has suffered three homicides, several other violent incidents including the mutilation of animals, and more than forty-seven arsons.
Despite recent media reports that the Federal Government has come to the aid of the First Nation, Chief Nate says; “Help is trickling into the community but we need long-term support. For our community to start healing we need counseling for our people, we need a safe place for detox to address the drug epidemic. The community of Eabametoong First Nation is in crisis. We have sent a desperate cry for help and have heard responses from all around the globe, but we are still waiting for Canada’s Prime Minister to acknowledge our State of Emergency.”
Eabametoong First Nation is a remote, fly-in only community of more than 1200 people located in Northern Ontario. On October 22nd 2010, the First Nation declared a State of Emergency following a series of violent crimes that have caused community members to fear for their personal safety.