Partnership Being Created to Help Rural Communities Recover from Wildfire

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Partnership Being Created to Help Rural Communities Recover from Wildfire

A new initiative is starting to help First Nations and Mtis communities recover from the wildfire.

The Recovery Task Force is adding two new positions aimed at the “physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of recovery for First Nations and Mtis people.”

The McMurray Mtis and Athabasca Tribal Council will administer the positions.

Bryan Fayant and Lisa Golosky will get the positions, representing the McMurray Mtis and Athabasca Tribal Council, respectively. Fayant is well-known in the Mtis community while Golosky is a member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation but has experience working in industry and government roles.

The Mtis were heavily impacted by the wildfire. They lost their local office while 80 per cent of their members lived in Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways.

"The loss of our local office and the destruction faced by our Mtis community has made it very difficult for our Mtis citizens to recover,” said Gail Gallupe, McMurray Mtis President in a release.

The Athabasca Tribal Council is located in Waterways. Though their building survived the fire, they weren’t allowed to return until March 7, 2017 due to damage from the fire. They were working out of a temporary office space at the Riverstone River, donated by Shell.

“Our First Nations citizens have faced many hurdles in the wake of the wildfire and continue to meet and overcome the challenges of recovery,” said Maggie Farrington, CEO, Athabasca Tribal Council. “We are grateful for this partnership as we work to support our citizens as they make their way toward a new normal.”

The initiative will last for one year and will be funding by the Task Force.
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