Manitoba’s prime minister says a house fire that killed three children from a northern first country should never have happened.
Heather Stefanson visited Pimicikamak Cree Nation on Wednesday to offer condolences and support to the grieving family.
Stefanson said in the community about 530 kilometers north of Winnipeg: “From the bottom of my heart, as a mother, I cannot imagine what you must go through today with your passing. three angels.
“We are here to help you heal. We are here to help you through this absolutely horrible and tragic time. “
The children, aged 13 and 17, died in Saturday’s fire.
The RCMP said four other people in the home – a 36-year-old man, a 36-year-old woman, a 20-year-old woman and a 4-year-old girl – were able to escape through a window.
The RCMP said First Nation safety officers tried to enter the house through a window but were repelled by the heat. The intensity of the flame also goes back to the Mounties.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Stefanson, along with Indigenous Reconciliation Minister Alan Lagimodiere, met with Chief Minister David Monias of Pimicikamak, community members and families after kicking off the Trapper Festival in The Pas earlier in the day.
Grand Chief Arlen Dumas, along with the Manitoba Council of Chiefs, and Grand Chief Garrison Settee, who represented the northern First Nations and who hailed from Pimicikamak, joined the prime minister.
Stefanson said she wanted to prevent a similar tragedy.
“It was horrible when it happened. And we want to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” she said.
Stefanson said it was her first visit to the First Nation since she became prime minister in November.
A study by Statistics Canada found that First Nations people living in protected areas were 10 times more likely to die in a fire than non-Indigenous people.
A 2014 inquest into the deaths of three children and a grandfather in a house fire in remote conservation areas north of Manitoba found poor housing infrastructure contributed to the deadly fires. .
Monias earlier said the deadly fire showed the need for housing assistance in Pimicikamak and called on the federal government to help.
© 2022 Canadian Press
https://globalnews.ca/news/8626452/premier-visits-manitoba-first-nation-after-three-children-die-in-fatal-fire/ Premier visits Manitoba First Nation after three children die in deadly fire