On September 8, 2022, Grand Chief Garrison Settee joined other First Nations leaders for a visit to the Pimicikamak Cree Nation.
The Grand Chief’s shared the following reflections on the visit:
“Today was a day of reflection and mourning. It was my honour to spend the day touring the Pimicikamak Cree Nation alongside National Chief RoseAnne Archibald, Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse, and Chief Cameron Catcheway.
We were there to support Chief David Monias and the Four Councils of Fire. We were able to sit and hear from them as to how we, in our leadership roles, can support them in advocacy and bring their issues to the forefront.
Visiting leaders were able to see firsthand some of the major issues of concern, such as the recent development of a boil water advisory for 50 per cent of the Nation’s on-reserve population of 8500 people.
Concern for people’s ability to live healthy lives due to lack of water is a major concern. People who rely on access to clean water for dialysis are especially impacted at this time.
Chief Monias spent time taking us on a tour of the community and we were able to see the entire Nation. Chief Monias shared there are about 1200 homes for the 8500 citizens living on reserve. He is committed to ensuring new housing goes up and notes that construction is the number one source of employment for community members.
We were able to see many positive developments taking place, such as the creation of new housing, well-lit roads, and the construction of a beautiful new health facility—which is set to open its doors in November 2022.
The National Chief and Chief Monias made a stop at the current health centre to say hello to the health care workers, who have given so much of themselves throughout the pandemic.
I am very proud of the leadership I witnessed today. Ekosi to all the community members who welcomed us, who pray for us, and who nourished us. I’m grateful for the gift I received and the time we had to listen and share with one another.
My appreciation goes out to the other leaders for joining me to pay respects to the late former Chief of Pimicikamak Cree National, Alex James Robinson.
It is my hope our presence brought some comfort to his wife Dorothy, his children, his siblings, his family, and all his loved ones as they grieve a tremendous loss to the entire community. There is much love for our late brother and we shared many wonderful memories today.”
~Grand Chief Garrison Settee