The community of Attawapiskat First Nation are living on top of one of the richest De Beers diamond mines in North America yet the people continue to live in third world conditions. No school for their community after having their’s closed down more then 12 years ago because children were being exposed to dangerous levels of benzene from the badly contaminated ground. Now living in deplorable conditions families are facing “immediate risk” of infection, disease and possible fire from their substandard living conditions. Have they fallen through the cracks of the system or is our governments just ignoring the pleas for immediate help?
It’s been three weeks since Attawapiskat First Nation declared a state of emergency. Since that time, not a single federal or provincial official has even bothered to visit the community. No aid agencies have stepped forward. No disaster management teams have offered help.
Dr. John Waddell from the Weeneebayko Health Authority visited the community during this tour. He found that conditions had deteriorated to the point that an emergency situation was imminent. Dr. Elizabeth Blackmore repeated this message of immediate risk just this past Friday at Queen’s Park yet still nothing has been done to aid this community.
Many children are scalded and burned from living in densely overcrowded houses with makeshift wood stoves….
A child with a facial rash from lack of clean water and sanitation….
Inside a makeshift tent — home to a family of six….
As the temperatures drop the dangers continue to grow and the real threat to human lives continues. Presently there are five families living in tents; 19 families living in sheds without running water; 35 families living in houses needing serious repair; 128 families living in houses condemned from black mould and failing infrastructure; 118 families living with relatives (often 20 people in a small home); there are 90 people living in a construction trailer. There’s a need for 268 houses just to deal with the immediate backlog of homelessness.
Please lend your signature & support along with the growing number of Canadians who are becoming aware of this unacceptable situation of the people of Attawapiskat First Nation. In doing so we are asking the government to take immediate action in resolving this very real emergency and to end this now before any more lives are further endangered or lost.
For more on this story please read…”What If They Declared An Emergency & Nobody Came?” by Charlie Angus of the Huffington Post.