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January 26, 2024
A northwestern Ontario First Nation says two teens have been arrested in connection with a fire that destroyed the community’s only school.
Chief Solomon Atlookan and the band council of the Eabametoong First Nation say no one was hurt in the early morning fire at the John C. Yesno Education Centre.
They say police have deemed it to be the result of arson and have taken two suspects, aged 14 and 17, into custody.
In a statement, the chief and council say the community is “devastated” by the loss of the school, which they say will affect close to 300 students from junior kindergarten to Grade 9.
They say a task force that also includes the Ontario government, Indigenous Services Canada and others will be working to address the community’s immediate, short-term and long-term needs, including plans to continue education.