For several years, “Keeshechewan” residents have been coming to the Cornwall and “Ahkwesáhsne” communities to escape the springtime flood waters of the Albany River.
It’s a hardship for the families for sure, but our communities strive to make it work, and we’ve developed something of a rapport along the way. Unfortunately, the uprooting of homes and families from Kashechewan is followed repeatedly by a return home to the same problem, and worse.
But now, with new interest and the generous resources offered by the Canadian Government, now may be the time to stop this stupidly grim cycle. We have the opportunity to go beyond rapport and to build a partnership that profits our northern and southern communities.
We are squandering the opportunity to resolve the housing, water and flood catastrophes that devastate Kashechewan and its families every year, and the tragic health consequences.
It’s time to develop a training and resource plan between Federal, Provincial and First Nation(s) governments to correct those housing, infrastructure and site shortfalls that uproot this northern community every year — A plan that can begin here, to give our First Nations neighbours a hand-up and not the usual government hand-out.
There is little work, limited training opportunity, and a very real need to improve the living environment for residents of the Kashechewan and nearby communities. Cornwall can be a host for change, if the people of these communities take up the challenge.
The Government of Canada is offering billions of dollars for aboriginal programming including; education; water infrastructure; housing; and child and family services. And all of the elements are in place…
– The Akwesasne Iohahi:io Education & Training Centre and Iethinisten:ha/ Te Hot to nion ha kie Family Wellness and Outreach Programs
– The Nav Canada Centre; a long time facilitator of education and student accommodation
– St. Lawrence College; proven for delivery of training in Construction, Carpentry and associated Building Trades.
– St. Lawrence College; a training centre of excellence for the Nursing profession, and Emergency Services and Personal Support workers.
– The Eastern Ontario Training Board and expertise to bring together the relevant authorities, the finance, the curriculum, the facilities and affected First Nations.
Cornwall and Akwesasne can be more than a bandage solution… We simply need to DO IT!