FORT ALBANY – This past weekend three First Nation communities from the James Bay region came together to raise over $30,000 for a 17-year-old girl awaiting a liver transplant in Toronto. On November 4, 2011 Fort Albany, Attawapiskat and Peawanuck First Nations came together to fundraise for Courtney Koostachin, a 17-year-old currently at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto awaiting a liver transplant. According to organizers, the fundraiser was very unique and first of its kind in the region. Approximately 16 volunteers from Fort Albany, 15 from Attawapiskat, 10 from Peawanuck started a 30-hour famine. Each community challenged each other to see who can raise the most funds for this event which started November 4 at 12 noon.
On Saturday, November 5th at 6:00 pm, all three communities calculated the final tally. They were all astonished. Attawapiskat came in at $18,000, Fort Albany at $11,000 and Peawanuck at $1,300 for a total of $30,300.
“We were all quite amazed at the amounts. It just goes to show you how our community can really pull together when something so important like this is happening,” said Brent Edwards, one of the organizers of the event.
Lead organizers included Brent Edwards and Rex and Michael Knapaysweet. “Based on the population of the three communities, this final number that we’ve reached has got to be the highest number ever achieved within the Mushkegowuk territory. We would like to thank all the people and the organizations who made generous donations and supported this event.”
The event was live-streamed as well on the Peetabeck Live channel on Livestream.com.
They would also like to thank Dennis Koostachin and Robert Nakogee in Attawapiskat and Isaac Bird in Peawanuck whose help was immeasurable. We would like to acknowledge the commitment first nations have to their inherent values as aboriginal people. During the feast Courtney joined everyone live on the Internet. She was overwhelmed and said, “I’m not going to give up.”
For more information or info on how to make a donation, please contact Brent Edwards in Fort Albany First Nation at 705-278-1044.