The Penticton Indian Band are collecting items to send to provide relief to First Nations communities that have been devastated by the flood.
“They’ve lost everything and don’t have the basic necessities. They don’t have access to clean drinking water and most have not be able to return to their homes. It is quite bad,” said Penticton Indian Band member Jennifer Houde, who is the contact in this area collecting donations.
The Siksika Nation, just east of Calgary, has seen hundreds of homes destroyed leaving the reserve looking more like a lake. At Morley, a reserve west of Calgary, they too remain under evacuation order mostly due to sewer backup and rain water washing out remote roads. Other reserves in the surrounding areas of Calgary have also been damaged by floodwaters and are under a boil water advisory. Siksika Chief Rabbit Carrier told media on Monday that the reserve’s recreation centre has been turned into a shelter where baby formula, diapers, towels, blankets and non-perishable food are in high demand.
It is why the Okanagan Nation Alliance decided to come together and try to provide some assistance. Houde said reserves in Penticton, West Kelowna, Keremeos and Osoyoos are all collecting items.
“It has been quite amazing we put it out on Facebook and people having been coming out in droves to help and to donate items,” she said.
Houde suggests anyone wanting to donate to get gift cards from places like Wal Mart or Canadian Tire so the people receiving them have options to purchase a variety of items depending on what their needs are. One of the challenges they are facing now is how to get the items to those in need. Houde said they are looking for people with moving trucks, trailers or big rigs to assist in transporting. She also needs assistance in taking inventory of the items that are being donated. Anyone looking to volunteer or to donate can contact Houde at email@example.com, by phone at 250-488-2448 or can join the event page on Facebook called Okanagan Rally for Alberta Reserves Flood Relief.