Shamattawa, God's Lake already under states of emergency
The Keewatin Tribal Council has declared a regional state of emergency on Thursday afternoon.
The northern Manitoba tribal council is made up of 11 communities, including Shamattawa First Nation and God's Lake First Nation, which have already declared states of emergencies in the last six months.
The regional state of emergency was prompted by system-wide deficiencies in public safety, health services and infrastructure, the tribal council said in a media notice.
The First Nations are calling for financial help from the federal and provincial governments and recognition that they are dealing with legislated negligence and poverty, a news release said.
Shamattawa First Nation declared a state of emergency earlier this month in response to several recent suicides and a fire that destroyed the homes of eight families on March 9, when the community's fire truck was in Winnipeg for repairs.
In October 2022, God's Lake First Nation declared a state of emergency over rising drug use and violence.
Band Coun. Phillip Kanabee told CBC at the time that drugs like meth, cocaine and heroin are becoming a problem in the community.
In February, a fire in Tataskweyak Cree Nation consumed an apartment building and displaced 49 people.
After the fire, Chief Taralee Beardy told CBC that the fire could have been prevented.
"We lost eight homes … and if we had a fire truck, we could have probably saved the whole apartment complex," Beardy said.
The other communities in the tribal council are Barren Lands First Nation, Bunibonibee Cree Nation, Fox Lake Cree Nation, Manto Sipi Cree Nation, Northlands Denesuline First Nation, Sayisi Dene First Nation, War Lake First Nation and York Factory First Nation.
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