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. But 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 only supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help.
If everyone who visits rabble and likes it chipped in a couple of dollars per month, our future would be much more secure and we could do much more: like the things our readers tell us they want to see more of: more staff reporters and more work to complete the upgrade of our website.
We’re asking if you could make a donation, right now, to set rabble on solid footing in 2017.