Queen's University

Housing issues force school to close in Pikangikum First Nation reserve, Queen's University professor

2012-01-26

Queen’s University Global Development Studies professor Bob Lovelace is available to discuss the crisis in Pikangikum First Nation with 25 out of 30 teachers leaving the community due to unlivable housing conditions. They are concerned about the long-term effects of living in mouldy houses.

“One begins to wonder if the social and economic catastrophes in Northern Ontario are not part of a managed policy on the part of governments,” says Professor Lovelace, a retired Ardoch Algonquin First Nation chief. “It is not as if these are one-time events or have happened out of a clear sky.  This week the school at Pikangikum closed down. The teachers who fly in, flew out.  Their houses are contaminated with mold.  Who designed these houses?  Who sold them to the Reserve?  How much begging and paperwork did the Band Council have to do to get these inferior houses in the first place?  Why is it that Northern Ontario resources, some of the richest areas in the world,  are off limits to the people who live there, the people who understand the land better than any other Canadians?  It’s time for some answers from the Great White Father.”

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca or Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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