Kashechewan Medical Evacuations Underway

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Kashechewan Ontario - A Cree community on the James Bay coast of Ontario.
Kashechewan Ontario - A Cree community on the James Bay coast of Ontario.

Kashechewan Ontario - A Cree community on the James Bay coast of Ontario.
Kashechewan Ontario – A Cree community on the James Bay coast of Ontario.

Emergency Medical Evacuation Underway

THUNDER BAY – The ongoing medical emergency in Kashechewan is continuing. Member of Parliament Charlie Angus shares, “We had an excellent phone conference this morning to look into the crisis with regional leaders, medical experts and government officials. There is an emergency evacuation underway of the sixteen most serious cases”.

Charlie Angus MP
Charlie Angus MP

Angus, the Timmins James Bay New Democrat MP says, “Medical teams will be going into Kashechewan tomorrow to examine all the children. Nurses will begin a health awareness campaign”.

“We are now setting up a follow-up meeting to look at issues of infrastructure — water safety, black mould and the issue of whether the sewage lagoon is leaking into the water system. This crisis wasn’t accidental — it is systemic,” added Angus.

“There must be a commitment to build the infrastructure and health services so the children in the northern communities can grow up healthy, safe and hopeful.”

Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day states, “The ministers comments about this not being about water should be checked out; it was just today that we heard about impacts of high chlorination clashing with skin ailments, from medical personnel on an emergency call with the community”.

Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day
Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day

“We know that if the water is requiring high chlorination, the raw water may be impacted by the sewage lagoon breach that was verified by the community today. This scenario is much more complex than to cancel out water as one of the root causes,” explained Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day.

“Another unsettling aspect to the situation is Kashechewan is the high number of these skin ailments in children, yet the public health system in the community and the Health Canada bureaucracy has not invoked swift measures to respond in a direct and urgent manner. One has to wonder, if this case was in rural southern Ontario, if the response would be more immediate,” questioned Regional Chief Day.

Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler states, “It is heart wrenching to see the pictures of these children from Kashechewan. My immediate reaction when I saw them was as a parent…just send a plane up there to go pick them up so they can receive the medical assistance that they so desperately need. Which is exactly what we did over the weekend”.

Alvin Fiddler has been elected Grand Chief of Nishnawb-Aski Nation
Alvin Fiddler Grand Chief of Nishnawbe-Aski Nation

Grand Chief Fiddler says, “Since then federal government officials have come on board and are now working with the community to evacuate all the other children that may require immediate treatment”.

Facebook Image - Derek Stephen
Facebook Image – Derek Stephen

“At the same time, a medical team will be travelling to the community and conduct house to house visits and assess all the children and youth in the community”.

“While it is encouraging to see the federal and provincial governments take immediate action on the medical crisis of these children, they also have an obligation to examine the broader social determinants, for example, access to clean drinking water, quality health care and adequate housing and to work in partnership with the community to begin addressing these issues,” added the Grand Chief.

Grand Chief Fiddler adds, “We are committed to working closely with the community to ensure that their immediate needs are addressed while working towards longer term solutions”.

“We are praying for the full recovery of the children that have been evacuated,” concluded the Grand Chief.

Kashechewan First Nation
Kashechewan First Nation

The Kashechewan First Nation is a Cree First Nation band government located near James Bay in Northern Ontario, Canada. The community is located on the northern shore of the Albany River. Kashechewan First Nation is one of two communities that were established from Old Fort Albany (now the Fort Albany 67 Indian Reserve.

The water crisis is coming before the spring break up that usually impacts Kashechewan and Attawapiskat in Northern Ontario.

Water Issues in Northern Ontario

As of January 31, 2016, there were 135 Drinking Water Advisories in effect in 86 First Nation communities across Canada, excluding British Columbia.

First Nation Community System Name Type of Advisory Date Set
(YYYY/MM/DD)
Date Revoked
(YYYY/MM/DD)
Population
Moose Factory
Albany Fort Albany FT Albany Public Water System BWA 2016/01/21 2016/01/28 1001-5000 people
Taykwa Tagamou Nation Taykwa Tagamou Taykwa Tagamou Public Water System BWA 2011/04/14 None 0-100 people
Weenusk Peawanuck Peawanuck Public Water System BWA 2006/02/15 None 101-500 people
Sioux Lookout
Bearskin Lake Bearskin Lake Bearskin Lake Community Centre/Youth Centre Semi-Public Water System DNC 2006/03/21 None unknown
Bearskin Lake Bearskin Lake Bearskin Lake Public Water System BWA 2015/11/24 None 101-500 people
Cat Lake Cat Lake Cat Lake Children’s Healing Centre Semi-Public Water System BWA 2006/10/13 None unknown
Cat Lake Cat Lake Cat Lake Northern Store Semi-Public Water System BWA 2007/03/20 None unknown
Deer Lake Deer Lake (2) Nursing Station Semi-Public Water System BWA 2001/11/01 None unknown
Eabametoong Eabametoong Eabametoong Public Water System BWA 2001/08/01 None 1001-5000 people
Koocheching Koocheching Koocheching Public Water System BWA 2009/10/19 None 0-100 people
Lac Seul Kejick Bay Kejick Bay Public Water System BWA 2003/02/14 None unknown
Lac Seul Whitefish Bay Whitefish Bay Public Water System BWA 2015/05/19 2016/01/22 unknown
Mishkeegogamang Mishkeegogamang New Plant Public Water System BWA 2016/01/08 None 1001-5000 people
Mishkeegogamang Mishkeegogamang Ten Houses Public Water System BWA 2015/03/09 None 101-500 people
Muskrat Dam Lake Muskrat Dam Muskrat Dam Public Water System BWA 2003/10/24 None 101-500 people
Neskantaga Neskantaga Neskantaga Public Water System BWA 1995/02/01 None 101-500 people
Nibinamik Nibinamik Nibinamik Public Water System BWA 2013/02/05 None 101-500 people
North Spirit Lake North Spirit Lake North Spirit Lake Public Water System BWA 2001/08/01 None 101-500 people
Ojibway Nation of Saugeen Saugeen Saugeen school Semi-Public Water System BWA 2015/02/20 None unknown
Pikangikum Pikangikum Pikangikum Public Water System BWA 2006/01/24 None 1001-5000 people
Pikangikum Pikangikum Police Station Semi-Public Water System (Non-Transient) BWA 2006/09/21 None unknown
Sandy Lake Sandy Lake Sandy Lake Public Water System BWA 2002/10/10 None 1001-5000 people
Slate Falls Nation New Slate Falls Band office/Clinic Semi-Public Water System BWA 2004/07/07 None unknown
Slate Falls Nation New Slate Falls Pumphouse No. 1 Public Water System BWA 2004/07/07 None 0-100 people
Slate Falls Nation New Slate Falls Pumphouse No. 2 Public Water System BWA 2004/07/07 None 0-100 people
Slate Falls Nation New Slate Falls Pumphouse No. 3 Public Water System BWA 2004/07/07 None 0-100 people
Slate Falls Nation New Slate Falls Pumphouse No. 4 Public Water System BWA 2004/07/07 None 0-100 people
Slate Falls Nation New Slate Falls Pumphouse No. 5 Public Water System BWA 2004/07/07 None 0-100 people
Slate Falls Nation New Slate Falls Pumphouse No. 6 Public Water System BWA 2004/07/07 None 0-100 people
Slate Falls Nation New Slate Falls Pumphouse No. 7 Public Water System BWA 2004/07/07 None 0-100 people
Slate Falls Nation New Slate Falls Pumphouse No. 8 Public Water System BWA 2004/07/07 None 0-100 people
Slate Falls Nation New Slate Falls Pumphouse No. 9 Public Water System BWA 2004/07/07 None 0-100 people
Slate Falls Nation New Slate Falls Warehouse Semi-Public Water System (Non-transient) BWA 2004/07/07 None unknown
Wabauskang Wabauskang Wabauskang Public Water System BWA 2014/12/15 None 101-500 people
Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation Wabigoon Wabigoon Public Water System BWA 2015/12/08 2016/01/15 101-500 people
Wawakapewin Long Dog Long Dog Public Water System BWA 2004/03/03 None 0-100 people
Southern
Alderville Alderville Alderville Anishnaa Kwewag Gamig Services Semi-Public Water System (Non-Transient) BWA 2016/01/28 None unknown
Alderville Alderville Alderville Community Centre/Daycare Semi-Public Water System (Non-Transient) BWA 2013/05/29 None unknown
Alderville Alderville Alderville Elders Complex Semi-Public Water System (Non-Transient) BWA 2016/01/18 None unknown
Algonquins of Pikwakanagan Golden Lake Makwa Development Corporation Semi-Public Water System BWA 2008/07/11 None unknown
Curve Lake Curve Lake Curve Lake Public Water System BWA 2016/01/06 None 101-500 people
Curve Lake Curve Lake Curve Lake Small Business Centre Semi-Public Water System (Non-Transient) BWA 2015/08/14 None unknown
Hiawatha Hiawatha Hiawatha Park Campground Semi-Public Water System (Transient) BWA 2008/07/07 None unknown
Hiawatha Hiawatha Hiawatha Church Semi-Public Water System (Non-Transient) BWA 2015/06/11 None unknown
Mississauga’s of Scugog Island Scugog Scugog Apartments Well House 3 Public Water System BWA 2008/10/23 None 0-100 people
Mississauga’s of Scugog Island Scugog Scugog Band Office Semi-Public Water System (Non-Transient) BWA 2008/10/23 None unknown
Mississauga’s of Scugog Island Scugog Scugog Community Water System 1 Public Water System BWA 2008/10/23 None 0-100 people
Mississauga’s of Scugog Island Scugog Scugog Community Water System 2 Public Water System BWA 2008/10/23 None 0-100 people
Mississauga’s of Scugog Island Scugog Scugog Health Centre Semi-Public Water System BWA 2008/10/23 None unknown
Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Tyendinaga All MBQ Semi-Public Water System (Non-Transient) BWA 2008/06/06 None unknown
Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Tyendinaga All MBQ Semi-Public Water System (Transient) BWA 2008/06/06 None unknown
Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Tyendinaga MBQ Airport Public Water System BWA 2003/10/17 None 0-100 people
Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Tyendinaga MBQ Bayview Variety Apartments Public Water System BWA 2008/06/06 None 0-100 people
Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Tyendinaga MBQ Clifford Maracle’s Well Public Water Supply BWA 2012/01/20 None 0-100 people
Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Tyendinaga MBQ Mohawk Bible College Public Water System BWA 2008/06/06 None 0-100 people
Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Tyendinaga MBQ Trailer Park Public Water System BWA 2008/06/06 None 0-100 people
Wahta Mohawk Wahta PWS Administration/ Community Centre Semi-Public Water System DNC 2013/09/11 None unknown
Thunder Bay
Anishinabe of Wauzhushk Onigum Wauzhushk Onigum – Rat Portage Bald Indian Bay Public Water System BWA 2012/05/11 None 0-100 people
Anishinabe of Wauzhushk Onigum Wauzhushk Onigum – Rat Portage Migisi Treatment System Semi-Public Water System  (Non-Transient) BWA 2008/05/26 None unknown
Animakee Wa Zhing #37 Animakee Wa Zhing #37 Regina Bay Regina Bay Public Water System BWA 2002/09/26 None 101-500 people
Animakee Wa Zhing #37 Animakee Wa Zhing #37 Windigo Island Windigo Island Public Water System BWA 2015/02/09 None 0-100 people
Aroland Aroland Aroland Public Water System BWA 2015/12/12 2016/01/15 101-500 people
Aroland Aroland O’Sullivan Lake Gas Bar Semi-Public Water System BWA 2008/09/04 None unknown
Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek Rocky Bay First Nation Rocky Bay Public Water System BWA 2015/08/10 None 101-500 people
Chapleau Cree Chapleau Cree Chapleau Cree Public Water System BWA 2015/09/23 2015/10/16 0-100 people
Constance Lake Constance Lake Constance Lake Public Water System BWA 2014/04/10 None 501-1000 people
Grassy Narrows Grassy Narrows First Nation Grassy Narrows Public Water System BWA 2014/06/27 None 501-1000 people
Grassy Narrows Grassy Narrows First Nation Mission Well Public Water System DNC 2013/05/24 None 0-100 people
Grassy Narrows Grassy Narrows First Nation Snake Point Well Public Water System DNC 2013/05/24 None 0-100 people
Grassy Narrows Grassy Narrows First Nation Teacherage Well Public Water System DNC 2013/05/24 None 0-100 people
Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek Gull Bay Gull Bay Public Water System BWA 2009/04/30 None 101-500 people
Marten Falls Marten Falls First Nation Marten Falls Public Water System BWA 2005/07/18 None 101-500 people
Naotkamegwanning Naotkamegwanning Whitefish Bay Public Water System BWA 2015/08/31 None 101-500 people
Northwest Angle No. 33 N.W. Angle 33 Angle Inlet East Pumphouse Plant Public Water System BWA 2011/04/11 None 0-100 people
Northwest Angle No. 33 N.W. Angle 33 Angle Inlet Elsie Blackhawk Pumphouse Public Water System BWA 2011/04/11 None 0-100 people
Northwest Angle No. 33 N.W. Angle 33 Angle Inlet West Pumphouse Plant Public Water System BWA 2011/04/11 None 0-100 people
Obashkaanda Gaang Washagamis Bay Washagamis Bay East Public Water System BWA 2008/12/19 None 0-100 people
Obashkaanda Gaang Washagamis Bay Washagamis Bay West Public Water System BWA 2008/12/19 None 0-100 people
Pic Mobert Pic Mobert Pic Mobert North – Upper Reserve Public Water System BWA 2010/01/29 None unknown
Pic Mobert Pic Mobert Pic Mobert South – Lower Reserve Public Water System BWA 2008/02/26 None 101-500 people
Serpent River Serpent River Serpent River Public Water System (2015) BWA 2015/09/01 None unknown
Shoal Lake No. 40 Shoal Lake No. 40 Pumphouse No. 1 Public Water System BWA 1997/02/18 None 0-100 people
Shoal Lake No. 40 Shoal Lake No. 40 Pumphouse No. 2 Public Water System BWA 1997/02/18 None 0-100 people
Shoal Lake No. 40 Shoal Lake No. 40 Pumphouse No. 3 Public Water System BWA 1997/02/18 None 0-100 people
Shoal Lake No. 40 Shoal Lake No. 40 Pumphouse No. 4 Public Water System BWA 1997/02/18 None 0-100 people
Shoal Lake No. 40 Shoal Lake No. 40 Pumphouse No. 5 Public Water System BWA 1997/02/18 None 0-100 people
Shoal Lake No. 40 Shoal Lake No. 40 Pumphouse No. 9 Public Water System BWA 1997/02/18 None 0-100 people
Shoal Lake No. 40 Shoal Lake No. 40 School Pumphouse Public Water System BWA 1997/02/18 None 0-100 people