The Metis Nation of Alberta (MNA) opened its doors to all Métis citizens affected by wildfires on Saturday, May 7.
In a press release, the MNA stated, “Although we do not have resources to support emergency relief services at this time, we will be offering triage and support services to Métis citizens in the weeks going forward. The event is open to all Métis citizens and will take place at the MNA provincial office located at #100-11738 Kingsway Avenue in Edmonton.”
The MNA has established two new communications lines for Métis citizens directly affected by wildfires. Citizens are encouraged to call their toll-free line at 1-866-839-6312, or email [email protected]. By garnering the input of their citizens, the MNA hopes to offer immediate help in the interim and develop a comprehensive forest fire contingency plan moving forward.
“The recent scourge of wildfire has resulted in devastating loss for many of our citizens” said MNA President Audrey Poitras, “we must work together to ensure the welfare of our people during this difficult time.”
The MNA Local 1935 office in Fort McMurray was one of the buildings destroyed in Tuesday’s blaze. Local 1935 President, Gail Gallupe, commented that “although we are overwhelmed by this monumental loss, we are no less resolved to help our community. To this end, we have set-up a temporary wildfire response centre in the MNA provincial office and hope to help our community in any way that we can.”
MNA Affiliate, the Rupertsland Institute (RLI), has also provided outreach services to evacuees since Tuesday. The RLI mobile van has delivered food, water, toiletries and other essentials to evacuees in Lac la Biche. RLI Chief Executive Officer, Lorne Gladu, commented that “the Rupertsland Institute has studied the effects of the Slave Lake fire and as such was on-the-ground and in the community with loads of supplies and services by Wednesday afternoon. We are proud to be a part of the Alberta response to this devastating event that has impacted thousands of lives including our clients and members of the Metis Nation.”
The MNA website and Facebook page will be updated with information in the days to come. Please check for updates at www.albertametis.com.