THUNDER BAY – The far north community of Attawapiskat has declared a state of emergency. The state of emergency was declared last October, because of a severe housing crisis in community. To date it does not appear that much has been done to resolve the problem.
The Youtube footage is from a November 2011 site visit by MP Charlie Angus, MPP Gilles Bisson, Mushkegowuk Grand Chief Stan Louttit, Deputy Grand Chief Leo Friday, and Dr. John Waddell.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Charlie Angus the federal MP stated, “Mr. Speaker, it has been three weeks since the Attawapiskat First Nation declared a state of emergency, and in those three weeks, not a single federal or provincial official has even bothered to visit the community. Not a single aid agency has stepped forward with logistical support, but in Attawapiskat, conditions have gone from bad to worse.
“Temperatures have dropped 20 degrees. They are likely to drop another 20 degrees in the coming weeks. Families in non-insulated tents and families in makeshift sheds without water or electricity are facing immediate risk. “Immediate risk” is the language being used by medical officials in the community, meaning immediate risk from infection, from disease and from fire.
“There are children who are using a bucket for a toilet. This is unacceptable in Canada, and it is unacceptable that although their territory holds the richest diamond mine in the western world, those royalties go to Queen’s Park and Ottawa, and nothing comes back to help this community get on its feet.
“Where is the action plan to help the people of Attawapiskat?”
Attawapiskat First Nation is on the shores of James Bay Ontario.