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December 2010 issue

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Regardless of extreme hardships, most people on this Reserve and many others in the North of Canada are decent loving, amazing, resourceful people who know how to make the best of it. Yes there is just as much corruption in these Communities as there is in all Canadian Communities, but it is not Grandma's fault, or the baby who just wants to be loved, fed and kept warm. I am so sorry for the desperate way these unforgettable beautiful people are suffering. Let us do what we can to help, while respecting their culture and understand their dignity. Even if we don't have much to give, lets at least be compassionate, kind and do what we can to encourage help for our Neighbours. I don't have the Governing body's answers, I am just one simple common Grandmother who cares about the other Grandmothers, mothers and children who are the Victims of all of this.

Submitted by Ruth Casey on Wednesday, January 4, 2012

These are children for God sake, I pray that the people in charge of decisions make remember that and make the right decisions for the children. It matter not what colour their skin, It matters that they are allowed to learn just like any other child in Canada.

Submitted by Christina Lanz on Thursday, January 6, 2011

Will Indian and Northern Affairs Canada fail the next generation?

Truth is yes they will, INAC is destined or set up to fail First Nations, Metis, and Inuit. Born under the Indian Act and under the Canadian constitution, of course it will not only fail Indians, but also the taxpayer, Canadian federalist agencies can only inquire what politicians call slush money, and employ third class rich kids to human resources to look after a polygamizing or co-opting system of government just so their kids can survive the clinching hand of the oppressive system, a system that in the end discriminates even the founders who gave then governing structure, and gave the beast its power of rule.

I know it to be true even at First Nation level, such example of my home community of Cat Lake First Nation, receiving a new school over Attawapiska, who really needed their right from the beginning. Excuse of poor excuse I say, is to use poor the Geographical or term used now is demographics, ask this question also, to who’s benefit, demographically speaking, the slush money we fight over each other about every single day as First Nations, Inuit and Metis, yes of course, before we know realize what is happening, yes that’s what they want us to do, fight for it, just as everything else, politicians, consultants, lawyers make tons of money on raw human enterprise, why? Because we produce it, we are not anyone liability or a going concern, we are a going concern for ourselves instead without even realizing it.

I think we all need to get educated to the real reality of why we exist or coexist in this Canadian society.

Like with the right common sense I a member of Cat Lake would have given the new school to Attawapiska, we are closer to road accessable and cost or dollarwise would have waited another year or so, but just to play a role in party politics, just makes me sick at times. But what can one man do, in this age of politics?

Submitted by Alec Oombash on Thursday, January 6, 2011

Canadians have a right to be outraged at how the federal government has abandoned the children of Attawapiskat to substandard education. Children have only one childhood and Indian Affairs has been consistently ignored its fundamental obligation to protect the childhood hopes of First Nation students.
Young Shannen Koostachin of Attawapiskat had a dream that all children deserved the right to attend "comfy" schools that give them hope. We were devastated by her death this past May and yet, out of the tragedy of this loss, national education, labour and First Nation leaders are coming together to push a national campaign to end this systemic underfunding of First Nation students. If you want information on how your school or community group can help the children of Attawapiskat and other First Nation reserve schools, contact my office at:
Charlie Angus MP
Please take the time to sign your name to the online campaign to fight for equitable education opportunities for First Nation students:

Submitted by Charlie Angus on Sunday, December 12, 2010

First and foremost, I highly respect Canadian Geographic for taking the time and effort to bring this story, and the plight of these people, to the attention of the rest of the country, and the world.

Unfortunately, this is a story that rings true in many of the remote First Nations communities3rd World communities in a 1st World country. The reason for this is a debate that I am learning a little more each day to be more complicated than can be described, or in many cases, even understood.

Having lived and worked as a professional in the communities on the west side of James Bay for a number of years, I have encountered such issues as this time and time again. Thank you to the author for portraying the harshness of living in a community such as Attawapiskatthe terrible living conditions of these people have been shown time and time again by so many. More importantly, thank you for discussing not only the lack of action from the Canadian government and all it entails, but also the responsibility of the community itself to take action and control. For example, bringing into question what the council did with the $1.4 million given to them last year to support their elementary education. While these points were few and far between, at least they were there. I understand the delicacy and grace with which such points need to be brought forward, and only wish there could have been more.

I wish the best to the community of Attiwapiskat in their plight for a new school. And I hope that when it is built, they will remember how hard they worked for it and respect and use it to its fullest for many years to come.

There are three sides to every story: yours, mine, and somewhere in the middle, the truth.

Submitted by Anonymous on Saturday, December 11, 2010

We should all take action! Write letters, sign Motion 571 in support of Shannen's dream (, encourage others to do the same... get your communities, schools, churches involved.....each take the necessary steps to put an end to this shame.

Lisa Wilson

Submitted by Lisa Wilson on Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Here is my letter to the Prime Minister:

Dear Prime Minister of Canada,

It is with respect as well as outrage, that I write to you.

I am a Canadian citizen, living in Gresham, Oregon, and a teacher of 31 students in the 4th and 5th grades. I am usually extremely proud to be Canadian, and I have continually promoted what a wonderful country Canada is. Until now. My enthusiasm is dampened and I am quite embarrassed.

I recently read the article by Linda Goyette, a high school friend of mine from Kingsville, Ontario, about the current appalling state of education for the Attawapiskat children. Here it is:

As an educator, I am outraged that this situation has been allowed to continue for so many years, without resolve.

I strongly encourage, and respectfully request, a personal commitment from you, with a public expression of such commitment, that plans for the new school be made an immediate priority, and that immediate action is taken to break ground on a state-of-the-art building.

I am sure you will agree that the Attawapiskat deserve as good an education as your own children, or any child, anywhere in Canada, or the world.

Please summon your compassion for these children, and for this community, and take action now!

Enough is enough.

With sincere appreciation,

Colleen Hallas

Submitted by Colleen Hallas on Saturday, November 20, 2010

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