THUNDER BAY, ON --- April 5, 2016 --- Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) has launched an emergency relief fund to assist Pikangikum First Nation following a tragic house fire that claimed nine lives in the remote community last week.
“Chief and Council have been overwhelmed with generous offers of support, and while these kind offers are greatly appreciated they are often difficult for the community to coordinate,” said Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler. “To simplify things we have established the Pikangikum Emergency Relief Fund to accept monetary donations, 100 per cent of which will be provided to the community to help meet their needs. We greatly appreciate all offers of assistance and we thank everyone for keeping the people of Pikangikum in their thoughts and prayers.”
Donations to the “Pikangikum Emergency Relief Fund” can be made at Scotiabank, Account Number 717870024813. Donations will also be accepted at the NAN Administrative Office, 710 Victoria Avenue East, Thunder Bay, Ontario.
The community is struggling to recover after a devastating residential fire on March 29 claimed the lives of nine people. Ontario Provincial Police have identified the victims as: Dean Strang, 51; Annette Strang, 49; Gilbert Strang, 31; Sylvia Peters, 41; Dietrich Peters, 35; Faith Strang, 24; Ireland Peters, 4; Aubree Strang, 2; Amber Strang, 5 months.
“There are no words to express the grief experienced by the families and the entire Pikangikum community but our thoughts and prayers are with them throughout during this difficult time,” said Fiddler. “I am heartened by the faith, strength and resolve of the families I was able to meet with during our visit over the weekend and I have assured Chief and Council that all services and supports are made available. I am impressed with the tremendous response and the way community members, crisis workers and other volunteers have pulled together to support the community and each other.”