Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Trip To Mish

Update on First Nations Programs

March 2009 – A Trip to Mish.

Joey and Andrew Wesley are two Mish Adventure campers from the community of Mishkeegogmang. This winter their family narrowly escaped a devastating fire that destroyed their home and everything they owned. Suffering from smoke inhalation and second degree burns, many family members present in the home that day were truly lucky to be alive.

Remains of the Wesley home

The Chief of the community expressed sadness as she recounted the story. It would be hard for the family in the days ahead. A replacement home was not on the horizon and the family was separated throughout the community finding refuge where they could.

As Mish Adventure camp staff and friends of FTC Canada learned of the disaster, there was an inspiring, outpouring of love and compassion. Our Guelph warehouse received beds, mattresses, bedding, clothing, small appliances, a kitchen table, chairs and dishes. The supplies were quickly loaded with our regular shipment of food heading north.

It was a joy to be able to personally deliver these items directly to a “new” home made available to them in the area. The empty house was filled with the goods and supplies from FTC and the grateful family of twelve (including one new baby).

While we were unloading the truck, a group of Mish Adventure campers came by on a sled and stopped to help. It was a great occasion and they were excited to hear that we would be coming back in July to run the Mish Adventures Camp again.

In Pickle Lake we helped put together pallets of Kraft dinner, cereal, canned grapes, cookies, snacks, and many other items for 27 reserves in the far north. This was two days of work in a local warehouse with help from two young people from the Mish community. We stacked and labeled pallets and prepared the supplies for the trip up the famous ice roads north of Pickle Lake.

Thanks to the staff from Tikinagan Child & Family Services, Wasaya Airlines in Pickle Lake as well as all the volunteers from Mishkeegogmang.

FTC Canada values our partners. One plus one equals hope, happiness and relief for our friends in Mish and many other Northern Ontario First Nation Communities.

Karen Ward
First Nations Program Coordinator

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