Canadian Red Cross provides relief in Attawapiskat
The Canadian Red Cross is on the ground in Attawapiskat providing urgently needed aid to vulnerable families in the community.
“Our goal in Attawapiskat is to ensure that the immediate needs of the community are met, which includes making sure families have the supplies they need to survive the winter,” said John Saunders, provincial director of disaster management with the Canadian Red Cross. “We are focused on providing short-term relief to the community.”
The Canadian Red Cross is helping the families of Attawapiskat on the request of the local chief, Theresa Spence, and will continue to work alongside public authorities.
On November 29, a Red Cross team consisting of Saunders and two volunteers from Timmins arrived with preliminary supplies including sleeping bags, heaters and winter clothing. The team is conducting assessments to determine exactly what items and quantities are needed for short-term relief. Once the assessment is complete, the Canadian Red Cross will distribute those supplies.
In Attawapiskat, the Canadian Red Cross has identified families living in tents and wooden sheds without electricity and plumbing in most dwellings. Some homes have power by running extension cords. Some have created make shift wood stoves out of old oil drums, which is a threat to public safety and health.
Government and community officials continue to work to determine long-term solutions.
At the further request of the community, the Canadian Red Cross has taken on a donation management role. Canadians wishing to support immediate needs can make a donation through the Red Cross online, by phone by calling 1-800-418-111 or in person at their local Red Cross office.