Best known for our emergency response work, the Canadian Red Cross is often first at the scene providing basic necessities to evacuees during times of disaster. From the wildfires in northern Manitoba to the flooding in British Columbia, the Red Cross is there to help when it is needed most.

Less well-known, but just as important to the Red Cross, is helping evacuated communities get back to their regular lives and celebrate being able to return home.

The opening of the school, which will teach children from nursery age to Grade 12, marked a gigantic step in the recovery and rejuvenation of this community.On Sept. 12, 2018, the Lake St. Martin First Nation officially opened its brand new school. The opening of the school, which will teach children from nursery age to Grade 12, marked a gigantic step in the recovery and rejuvenation of this community.

The Red Cross, which was on-hand at the event, helped make the celebrations especially grand by providing grants for snacks, bouncy castles for the children, and a community feast for everyone to enjoy.

This modern community hub completes the vital infrastructure necessary to usher in a fresh start for the residents of Lake St. Martin. The new facilities in the community include a garage, a fire hall, and a water sewage treatment facility.

Opening the school with community support.Flooded in May 2011, the community was forced to evacuate almost 300 kilometres south to Winnipeg.

During the seven-year diaspora, the Red Cross helped maintain community ties by supporting a variety of celebrations including: holiday festivities, an Elder’s day at the beach, Treaty Days, sporting events, and school activities.

Many of the residents have now returned home and the Lake St. Martin First Nation community is ready to begin again. The Canadian Red Cross is also helping more families as they prepare to return home and continue the reunion of the community.