FORT SEVERN FIRST NATION – This has been a critical year for Fort Severn Cree First Nation. We are making progress with our goal to co-manage the wildlife and natural resources on our traditional lands. We are developing strategies based on our traditional Cree knowledge to ensure that the children, grandchildren and those not yet born will live in a world where the polar bear lives, hunts and raises its cubs on our traditional territories.
Critical Year for Fort Severn First Nation
Fort Severn Cree is exploring ways to reduce our dependency on dirty power such as diesel generation with green sources of power such as wind and solar. We are making significant progress on balancing our books and paying down our deficit. We are working to improve educational opportunities for our youth with the Keewaytinook Internet High School. We are opening a new police detachment in our community this April.
Earlier this year, I was invited to speak at an international polar conference in Paris, France to share Cree knowledge about the polar bear with delegates from around the world. All in all, this has been a significant year for the people of Fort Severn Cree First Nation. And, we have always been able to count on Greg Rickford, our MP, when we call on him for assistance.
Few people know a lot about Fort Severn Cree First Nation. We are a small community located where the Severn River flows into Hudson Bay. We are Ontario’s most northerly community that is connected with Canada by a winter road.
Fort Severn Cree First Nation is also part of Kenora riding, one of the largest in Canada. It is not easy to represent Kenora riding in the House of Commons. Kenora riding has over forty First Nations communities.
It also includes the urban centres of Kenora and Dryden as well as a string of small towns along the highway system. So I am happy to say that Greg Rickford has always been there for us when we need him. He has written letters of support for us and open doors when we needed his assistance.
He has supported our struggle to develop a polar bear strategy that will work. Greg has assisted us with improving housing and he pushed hard for us to get a new police detachment to serve this community.
Greg raises our issues in the media and when he conducts speaking engagements. Greg has told our story to other Canadians when he rose to speak in the House of Commons last month. Greg does not wait for me to call him. He calls us to find out what he can do to serve us better. If Greg works this hard to support us, a tiny remote community in the far north, I can only imagine how effective he is working for you in the rest of the riding.
Chief Matthew Kakekaspan
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