More than 500 wildfire evacuees from the Deer Lake First Nation in northwestern Ontario have been relocated to NAV Centre in Cornwall, Ontario, with no certainty as to when they can return home.  The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne is coordinating assistance from several Akwesasne community programs to make the evacuees’ stay more hospitable.

MCA’s Emergency Measures staff are coordinating recreational activities including trips to the beach, cultural classes, and meet and greets with the community of Akwesasne.  They have been on site with the evacuees offering added support such as status card application assistance or transportation.  

The Dept. of Community & Social Services has provided additional activities as well as loaned two vans and drivers to help the evacuees navigate the city of Cornwall more easily.  The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, the Seven Dancers Program and other community programs have also stepped up to offer their resources and help to keep these families busy.  Games and food have been donated, as well as 250 swimsuits for all ages for the evacuees to attend the beach day events. 

On Wednesday, July 28, MCA chiefs met with representatives from Deer Lake on Thompson Island to offer their support and welcoming to the territory.  

The MCA EOC and organizers, including Indigenous Service Canada representatives and the Canadian Red Cross, are now planning for the weeks ahead with no date of return known.  

Should any community members have activities they would like to host or items for donation such as board games, please email your interest to eoc@akwesasne.ca

The community will be invited to meet the Deer Lake guests at a Meet and Greet that is being organized.