Canadians Helping in Our Own Backyard
THUNDER BAY – Gary Wasaykeesic is a man on a mission. That mission is helping in his home community of Mishkeegogamang First Nation.
Wasaykeesic headed a furniture driver for Mishkeegogamang First Nation that resulted in an 18 wheeler of furniture being donated to his community that was gathered in Toronto.
The project started this summer after a trip home to his community when Wasaykeesic states he saw the impact of poverty in the community.
With the help of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Wasaykeesic says the effort came together and there are plans for a second drive in January.
The First Nations activist says that one of the projects that Canadians should consider is that while many look overseas to help people in far-off lands, there is a real need and opportunity, right here in our own backyard to help.
Of the 1,644 people living in Mishkeegogamang First Nation, 8.6 people live in every house, leading to crises of overflowing septic tanks, homes without electricity or sewage, hundreds on constant suicide watch, and traumatizing poverty. A further 1,000 members of the community are in jail and nearly 300 people have lost their lives suddenly since 1981.