rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Attawapiskat yurt meets fiery ending

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

The presence of the much-loved Mongolian yurt in Attawapiskat ended abruptly on April 1 when it was apparently set on fire and burned to the ground. Despite their best efforts, the local volunteer fire crew could not save the structure. The cause of the fire is unknown and an investigation is underway.

The authentic Monoglian yurt from the Occupy Toronto movement was a gift from OPSEU as part of a larger initiative to build connections with the remote northern community.

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence envisioned a social, creative gathering place for her community, a place filled with sewing machines and accessories, art supplies, and games for everyone. "It is a loss for my community; it had great potential, "said the Chief about the yurt, "its loss will be felt."

In an email sent to the group of volunteers who delivered the yurt to Attawapiskat in February, OPSEU executive board member Gord Longhi wrote: "I know this is really sad and hurtful to take but don't lose the message that we delivered to the community. This was the act of perhaps one angry person. Not the sentiment of the community at large. We brought more than a yurt to Attawapiskat. We let them know that there are many people and organizations that care and are willing to help."

"When the Occupy protestors were evicted from the park it was said you cannot evict an idea, the same holds true here," said OPSEU President Smokey Thomas, " I hope the community will continue to develop and implement creative programs for their kids."

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.