State of emergency declared in Cat Lake First Nation
With nearly 90 homes recommended for demolition, Cat Lake First Nation’s chief and council have declared a state of life and public health emergency.
In a statement issued by the band, leadership, under Chief Matthew Keewaykapow, says the poor state of housing in the community, located 180 kilometres northwest of Sioux Lookout, Ont., had led to “needless illnesses and related deaths.”
The release says an independent housing inspection report shows excessive mould, structural and foundation issues, problems with electrical wiring not meeting standard, limited available maintenance funding, a lack of heat recovery ventilators, roofing problems that have led to leaks, invasive bacterial diseases and lung infections, which have led to excessive medivacs. – Tbnewswatch
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Give the reserves ownership of the houses. Make reserves responsible for the maintenance of the buildings. Indigenous people need to accept responsibility for the condition of their communities. It might take several years but the goal needs to be self sufficiency for home construction and maintenance on all reserves.
Train and pay some of the residents to maintain the homes…both inside and outside. Maybe even build them. This will provide an understanding of building construction which will help in maintenance work later on.
Building and maintaining a house in a remote community is bloody expensive. That is a problem that is always going to be there. Having people living in the community building and maintaining the communities’ infrastructure should lower those costs.
Ensure there are up-to-date building codes for all buildings constructed on reserves and that they are enforced. Don’t always go with the lowest bidder for house construction.
Deal with issues such as drafts and water leaks immediately to stave off mold issues.. Make sure residents clean them regularly. Ensure proper ventilation to deal with humidity. The more people living in a house, the more humidity. Ventilation is key. If its broke, fix it right away.
Maybe house designs used in the southern portion of the country are not suitable for the conditions of the north? Boxes might not be the way to go. Domes?