By Armand LaPlante for Indigenous Times News
Family from Timber Bay spent their Canada Day at an emergency shelter in Saskatoon. Photo: Armand LaPlante
JULY 1 2015 – One family hoped to spend their Canada Day at the beach, not at the Henk Ruys Soccer Centre in Saskatoon. But that’s how it ended up when the bombardment of wildfires forced them to evacuate on June 27 from their home community of Timber Bay, a community right in between Prince Albert and La Ronge.
The mother sifted through a box of donated clothes explaining how some of the kids didn’t even have the chance to adequately pack before they evacuated. Presently no one can stay back in their community, it poses too much of a health risk; but someone has been going back to check up on the community to make sure everything is fine, particularly the community’s water treatment plant.
Lisa Jayne (left) and Leona Tootoosis were on hand helping coordinate donation efforts in Saskatoon.
Photo: Armand LaPlante
Tables for donations are set up outside of the Henk Ruys Soccer Centre in the Lawson Heights area of Saskatoon. Donations are pouring in including food items, clothing, toys for the kids, diapers, and bottled water. Volunteers have been inspecting the donations as there are policies in place for what can go inside the emergency shelter. Right now it is encouraged that people bring bottled water, pampers, and brand new pillows as evacuees are sleeping without pillows.
There have been postings on social media in the facebook groups “Sask Evacuations – Helping One Another” and “Saskatoon Buy and Sell” with more specific requests.
As of yesterday it was reported that there were more than 100 fires in Northern Saskatchewan displacing well over 3000 people.
Despite being stuck at an emergency shelter, the sense of community, safety, and appreciation for everyone’s help and generosity kept evacuees smiling on Canada Day.