Attawapiskat Working Through Crisis


People of Attawapiskat Demonstrate Quiet Calm

ATTAWAPISKAT – Attawapiskat this week has been working as a united community overcoming the impact of a winter storm. Earlier this week as a powerful storm went through the community, power was knocked out. The first steps required getting residents impacted to warmer shelter and ensuring their safety.

Next residents had to go through shutting down water heaters, and electrical appliances in their homes. Starting the power generators required that the demand be a slower uptake than having a massive initial surge of demand.

The community has come through a fire, and the power outage and the storm with a quiet focused determination that honestly reflects the true nature of life in the far north of Ontario.

Help has come from within the community. There has been little news reported on the ongoing situation. 

Part of that is that the people in Attawapiskat have been very focused on solving the problems.

There has been a fire in what residents call the DeBeers Trailers. There was a fire at the “H” Trailers – known as emergency housing (DeBeers trailers), the homeless shelter. T

he fire happend at the west side lane Several people had moved back there not that long ago after the wipe out-power outage. Some others were staying at the Community Arena still. Some adults including a pregnant woman is staying there.

Chief Theresa Spence has been busy managing the situation in her community.  While the fire has displaced some residents, no one was hurt.

Often in recent years, almost everything that has happened in Attawapiskat has been front page news. This week, the people in that embattled community are stepping up, and they are doing what is needed and for the most part appear to be simply helping themselves.

Here is an overview from Wednesday:

  • Nine Units in west end still without power. Attawapiskat Power Corporation will try to reconnect these units after 7:30 pm
  • East End Trailers will not be connected until Thursday Afternoon.
  • Emergency Shelter at Community Hall will be operated until East End Trailers are available. 
  • Sewage Break has been repaired. Boil water still in effect for Tap Water. Water is being distributed. 
  • R/O (Reverse Osmosis) Water is available – Drinking Water
  • Both Schools will operate tomorrow
  • We are on Grid right now, but are working to resolve minor distribution problems
  • Healing Lodge should be operational on Thursday

The people and the Chief and Council in Attawapiskat have often been seen as a political football – This week, quietly and with little apparent help from outside the community is working through what might have been a front page story.

One might wonder why it isn’t?

James Murray

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