Thursday, November 09, 2006

Kashechewan unsolved

Ooops... there goes the sun. I'm suffering from a day of trying to relearn statistics.

Kashechewan. I don't know what the government is up to, but I can't see them choosing to move from the James Bay Coast to Timmins (see Toronto Star Article). These are people who hunt routinely and count on wild game for a real contribution to their food supply (healthy food supply might I add, having lived their with a good job, I could not afford healthy food at the store - so I lived off of processed carbohydrates, frozen vegetables , hotdogs, ground beef, apples and white bread). I guess moving south would solve some of the cost of living/employment issues, however, it would not be the same community, nor would it be possible to maintain their way of life. While, clearly the leaders of the community are wisely taking their time to discuss it at Public meetings, my gut feeling is that the idea won't sell well. Place is a part of community, and the different between the topography, geology and geography of Timmins is huge.

More Kashechewan Articles
1. Smooth Rock Mayor surprised
2. Troubled Reserve Could Move
3. Flowery words, poisonous water

Before you think to yourself how reasonable it would be to expect Northern Aboriginal Communities to relocate to the south for less costly services and more opportunities - consider how you would react if your community - particularly a small town, close-knit one - were basically told that you should pick up everything and relocate to a place of someone elses choosing. There would be outrage.

I as a former resident (albeit temporary) of Kashechawan, school teacher and recent civil engineering graduate, understand better than most the challanged and expensive of providing infastructure to northern communities. Some of the problems are engineering problems, some of the problems are the same ones that stereotypically haunt our native peoples, while others are simply logistics and demographics. This solution however is the conservatives forgetting to tally the non-monitary costs and impacts. Where the reserve should relocate is only one element of the equation - how the town can be made an economically sustainable and healthy community is an entirely different dimension of the problem.

Flowers on the trees and the birds and bees, little boys with scrapes on their knees Posted by Picasa


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