WINNIPEG – There is a desperate call for help from a northern Manitoba community ravaged by fire earlier this year.
Shamattawa First Nation is a small town of about 1,600 people and is located 750 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.
Their band office and only grocery store were gutted by a fire in September and yet to be rebuilt.
Manitoba RCMP said the fire was caused by six children, five of whom were under 12. One 12-year-old boy is facing arson charges.
MKO Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson says they’re also dealing with nearly 200 suicide attempts in the last two years.
She is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to come to the community and offer some support.
“The prime minister needs to come and visit the community, if not only to encourage them and to help them understand that the rest of Canada is listening, and paying attention and do care,” North Wilson said at a new conference on Tuesday.
North Wilson also says lack of housing remains another major issue. For example, one small house has 22 people living in it right now.