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BC communities in the last mile: No community or individual is too far

Last week, I accompanied the Canadian Red Cross outreach team as they were visiting First Nation communities affected by the BC Wildfires and was reminded that no community or individual is too far to be reached. 

Nistawoyou Association Friendship Centre and Red Cross partner to assist Indigenous people impacted by fires

The Fort McMurray area is home to almost 90,000 people. Each of them has their own experience and story after May’s wildfires tore through the region. That’s why Red Cross case workers continue to meet with families and individuals to talk through their personal needs and find effective ways to assist. Reaching those people means working alongside community groups like the Nistawoyou Association Friendship Centre. The Canadian Red Cross is partnering with the Centre to help connect with aboriginal residents.

McMurray Metis celebrate culture and resiliency

A celebration of resiliency and togetherness brought together Fort McMurray’s Metis community at its annual Metis Festival on July 25th. The event was delayed a couple of months because of the wildfire in May.
McMurray Metis’ office, storage and entire site was destroyed by the wildfire that swept through the community, forcing thousands of people to evacuate. While fortunately the group was able to save many of its archives, all of its data and documentation was lost

Red Cross working in First Nations community impacted by the Alberta fires

As an emergency management director, Angela McKenzie is used to helping others from the Fort McKay First Nation deal with disaster. So, it was doubly challenging when wildfires swept north from Fort McMurray and forced her to flee, along with her new baby and hundreds of others, through dense smoke and flames.

Tackling bullying, one community at a time

Name calling. Threats. Punching. Excluding. Many individuals endure these types of bullying on a daily basis. Bullying isn’t a short-term problem that only affects children; it is a serious issue that affects 75 per cent of Canadians. The problem is particularly serious in many Indigenous communities, where 95 per cent of individuals have been affected by bullying.

Connecting to a cause: Robert Whitelaw and the Strength and Spirit Campaign

The goal of the Strength and Spirit campaign may have been to build strength and resilience in First Nations communities, but what it also uncovered was one man’s passion and commitment to the region he grew up in. Robert Whitelaw, better known as Bob, was a family man who put great emphasis on building strong relationships. This ultimately became his legacy and it was all prompted by the Canadian Red Cross Strength and Spirit Campaign.

Keeping smiles on kids' faces: Red Cross volunteers entertain children at shelters for evacuated people

Red Cross volunteer Fabrice Vanhoutte loves putting a smile on children’s faces. So, he has plenty of tricks up his sleeve for the young people in a Saskatoon shelter.
 
“If I see a kid who is upset, I don’t necessarily go right up to them but I stay nearby and play my mouth organ or start showing a card trick,” says Vanhoutte.
 

Training First Nations first responders in B.C.

Medical help can sometimes be far away if you’re living in rural and remote First Nations communities in British Columbia. In the past, getting on-call emergency assistance to people in need could be a major challenge. The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is working with the Canadian Red Cross to change that.

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About The Blog

The purpose of this blog, quite simply, is to talk. This blog is an opportunity for Red Cross staff, volunteers, supporters and friends to share stories about what is happening in your community and the important work you are doing. It is a tool that will help keep all of us connected.

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