Fond du Lac Residents Coping With Desperate Times

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 15:28



The chief of the Fond du Lac First Nation says his community is continuing to cope with what’s become a desperate situation.


Like most of the communities in Saskatchewan’s Far North, Fond du Lac is dealing with a critical shortage of food and fuel because the warm weather this winter has not allowed badly-needed ice roads to be built.


Chief Victor Fern says no one is starving, but food costs continue to soar because of its short supply. Fern also says there’s no fuel in the community.


He notes the people of Fond du Lac are accustomed to tough circumstances because of their remoteness.


However, Fern point out that the nearest caribou herd is between 80 and 100 kms north of the community, and that’s hampering local residents from supplementing their store-bought food with traditional fare.


Fern has been in touch with officials with both the federal and provincial governments, and is waiting to see how they will help.


In the meantime, he says the assistance Transwest Air has provided in flying in a couple of free shipments has helped out quite a bit.


Fern says the tight situation has unfortunately forced the band to use funds earmarked for the upkeep of band facilities to fly in supplies.


Meanwhile, Department of Highways spokesperson Kirsten Leatherdale says the ice thickness to Fond du Lac is improving, but the quality is still not there to attempt building a road.