#WESEEYOU Day

The Ballantyne Project

January 11, 2021

From one community to another ~ let’s make a difference!

Sending Activity Boxes to Youth in Remote Communities in Northern Canada

In January 2021, Parkgate Society in partnership with The Ballantyne Project gathered donations and filled activity boxes that were shipped to remote First Nations Communities in Northern Canada:

  • Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation – Southend in northeastern Saskatchewan
  • Grassy Narrows First Nations, located about 55 km northeast of Kenora, Ontario
  • Kingfisher First Nation (Oji-Cree language: ᑮᐡᑭᒪᓂᐦᓰᐋᐧᐴᕽ (Giishkimanisiiwaaboong, “At Kingfisher-waters”), located 350 kilometres (220 mi) north of Sioux Lookout, Ontario.

This Campaign was created to let youth and young adults living in remote First Nations communities know that they are no longer invisible. #weseeyou

Many of these communities already felt the impacts of isolation; however, these have been drastically magnified due to the pandemic: affecting mental health, families, traditions, and overall spirit in these communities.

Where is Southend?

Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation is made up of 8 separate communities and Southend is the most northern of these communities. Southend has a population of 1400 people. The name for Southend in Cree is “Wahpahtikochiwanohk” meaning the Narrows with a Current. Southend is located in the north eastern part of Saskatchewan, 454kms north of Prince Albert and 222 kms north of La Ronge (Gravel Road Only)

Health care programs are delivered from the Arthur Morin Memorial Health Centre which provides community programs and 24 hours emergency care. Doctors are flown in from La Ronge two days per week. Ambulance service is based out of La Ronge.

Where is Grassy Narrows?

Grassy Narrows First Nations: is the common name for both a reserve and an Ojibwe First Nation. The reserve, legally known as English River Indian Reserve 21, is just over 41 km2 of land located about 55 km northeast of Kenora, Ontario. There are 1,594 registered members of Grassy Narrows First Nation (also known as Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek), 971 of whom live on-reserve (2019). Grassy Narrows is a signatory to Treaty 3.

Approximately 90 per cent of Grassy Narrows residents suffer from mercury poisoning. The poisoning is the result of Dryden Chemicals Ltd. dumping mercury into the English-Wabigoon river system between 1962 and 1970. The effects of the pollution are ongoing and have also affected Whitedog First Nation (also known as Wabaseemoong Independent Nations).

Where is Kingfisher Lake?

Kingfisher First Nation (Oji-Cree language: ᑮᐡᑭᒪᓂᐦᓰᐋᐧᐴᕽ (Giishkimanisiiwaaboong, “At Kingfisher-waters”); unpointed: ᑭᐡᑭᒪᓂᓯᐊᐧᐳᐠ) is an Oji-Cree First Nation reserve located 350 kilometres north of Sioux Lookout, Ontario. It is accessible by air all year round, by waterway in the summer, and by ice roads in winter. As of December 2009, the First Nation had a total registered population of 500 people, the on-reserve population being 462. The community speaks the Oji-Cree language, but most people are also fluent in English.

Dwight’s Story

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