"We've learned to live with pain and hurt," says Attawapiskat resident

Twenty-two homes built for Attawapiskat sit hundreds of kilometers in the south waiting for the trip north.

APTN National News
Twenty-two homes built for Attawapiskat sit hundreds of kilometers in the south waiting for the trip north.

While the government and community leaders continue to battle over who is in charge, people in Attawapiskat have been left on the sidelines.

APTN National News reporter Annette Francis has this story.

Online Producer / Ottawa

Before moving to become the APTN News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.

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1 thought on “"We've learned to live with pain and hurt," says Attawapiskat resident

  1. Charlie Angus has been the MP for James Bay riding for seven years or more. He knew the state of the reserves in his riding. He is quick to blame the present government when after all these years, he himself, has turn the blind eye to the plaque of the communities (such as Attawapiskat) in his own backyard. Yes, he came to our community and declared Attawapiskat Housing Crisis a state of emergency. What did he do after? He left and then when people started making noise before the onset of the cold winter, he came around again.. This is not the first time that my community declared a state of emergency over the deplorable housing conditions. Mr Angus, along with his crew, was involved when the crisis began 2 years ago and forgot about the situation or offered a mere bandage solution- tents for residents. The tents frames came from the leadership with the assistance from the government. I am tired of the blaming game… everyone should just take responsibility- right from community members, local leadership and to all levels of governments. 
    As for Third Party Management in my community, I say let it be. Attawapiskat Leadership is often quoted in the media that they have a sound financial management plan and nothing to hide. If that is the case, let the government appointed Third Party Manager in the reserve and let him do his job. For many years, we have asked for financial accountability and transparency from all levels of government concerning our community’s financial affairs but nothing happened.  This mess did not happen overnight and it is time to have our financial matters set in order. It has been a long time coming. 

    I believe and support our leadership and Chiefs across Canada in fighting the status quo when it comes to Government dealings with Aboriginal struggles and issues. I say it is about time that we, as the FIRST NATION PEOPLES, stand in unity to change a bureaucratic system that continues to dehumanize and exploit our people. What I do not support is that our community leadership leading the struggle in fighting the government while their members are continuing to be left in the dark. No one ever asked the membership how we feel and even when we do voice our concerns, no one listens. Everyone seems to think they know what is right for us and have little regard for us as capable and intelligent human beings. To explain the feeling in a more intellectual terms, it is more like the oppressed becomes the oppressors. I am not only on-reserve member of Attawapiskat but also a Canadian Citizen with rights protected under the Constitution. WE are people with rights and have a voice… we need to be heard. We are tired and need to move on. 

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