The chief of the Jean Marie River First Nation in the Northwest Territories said the community received thousands of dollars in donated food from the RCMP on Thursday.
Chief Noleen Hardisty said the food is a welcome sign for community members who are still grappling with the impact of the devastating floods that hit the Jean Marie River in the spring of 2021. She said many are discouraged as around 50% of residents are still displaced from their homes.
“Everyone gets anxious, wants to go home,” Hardisty said.
Hardisty said replacement units for those in need of completely new homes are expected in March.
Flood victims can submit claims under the Disaster Assistance Policy until February 18.
Adopt a town
The donation is part of an annual initiative led by the National Division in Ottawa, where it “adopts a village”. Insp. Barry Larocque, the RCMP officer in charge of the southern district of the Northwest Territories, said he and his detachment recommended Jean Marie River for the program.
“Given that they had a very tough and difficult year with the flooding and then left their homes…we thought the community could use a little lift,” LaRocque told CBC News.
Members of the RCMP National Division donated nearly $3,000, which was used to purchase various non-perishable items. The leaders of Jean Marie River have identified the necessary foods.
The food – weighing around 600 kilograms – was flown from Ottawa to Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories, using RCMP air services and then driven to the Jean Marie River by LaRocque and Cape. Dawn Metallic, who spearheaded the initiative with the RCMP National Division.
The volunteers also prepared baskets for Valentine’s Day.
“They had some money,” LaRocque said, “so they went to a chocolate maker.”
Hardisty said the food will support the community food bank, available to all community members.