It is the right thing to do, and it is the Canadian way


AttawapiskatTHUNDER BAY – Editorial – When a disaster or crisis happens in a far off land, the Canadian people and the Canadian Government will react to support the people in that country, and often offer to match donations made by Canadians. It is the right thing to do, and it is the Canadian way. Yet, in Canada, when you dig into the story behind our own First Nations communities it doesn’t appear that the same thing happens.

In October, Attawapiskat declared a state of emergency. It was a 911 call to the federal and provincial governments. It appears to remain unanswered.

On our television screens often are ads asking Canadians to help sponsor children in third world countries. Maybe it is time for ads to start running asking people to support children in Canada living in our own third world conditions. Right now people in Attawapiskat, once again need help.

Despite declaring a state of emergency, Charlie Angus states that no help is coming quickly.

That simply isn’t right. The fact of the matter is that everyone who holds humanity and compassion in their heart knows it. Perhaps through video, music, and exposure the message from Attawapiskat will reach outside of that small northern community. Thunder Bay’s Ricky Ogima has stepped up. Likely many others will follow in his footsteps.

For those who claim that this is an issue that the people in Attawapiskat along with their Chief and Council can solve perhaps it is time for some education, along with a double dose of compassion. Often in my life, I have heard the expression “There but for the grace of God, go I”.

Right now the Canadian Red Cross is reported to be stepping up to offer short-term assistance. In an interview last night on APTN, Charlie Angus stated, “With the Red Cross stepping in now, we hope to start coordinating a short-term response, while the larger, medium to long term response will take place once we bring the other parties (Ottawa and Ontario) to the table.”

The images from Attawapiskat are ones that tell the world that Canada is not all we as Canadians claim it is. We must take all the needed steps to fix the problems, as Canadians.

It is the right thing to do.

James Murray
Chief Content Officer

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