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As Canada braces for a raging summer, Indigenous communities remain displaced – Daily Guardian

3 Jul 2024

Indigenous land is disproportionately affected by wildfire and their isolated nature makes aid access difficult

When Robert Laboucan pictured his son taking his first steps he imagined it would be at home, maybe even in front of a camera in their living room. Instead, the one-year-old first walked in the hallway of the Flamingo Inn in High Level, the tiny Alberta town where the family have been living for more than a year after escaping the massive wildfires that devastated the Indigenous-owned Fox Lake Reserve.

“It was really hard,” said Laboucan, a member of the Little Red River Cree Nation.

Laboucan, his partner Jennifer, and their five children, aged one-16, are among dozens of fire evacuees still living at the hotel. While they will not get an exact replacement of the home they lost, Laboucan has been told that a new home will be ready for the family by July – approximately 14 months after the 2023 Paskwa fire tore through the Little Red River Cree Nation.

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