In April, as First Nations communities on the shores of James Bay were evacuated due to spring flooding, the people of several Northern Ontario cities opened their doors and their hearts to the men, women and children of Fort Albany and Kashechewan.
For approximately 262 residents of Fort Albany, the stay was a matter of days.  For the people of Kashechewan who have left their homes for the second time in six months, however, the dislocation and disruption to their lives continues.  More than 1,400 members of Kashechewan remain outside their community while repairs and assessments continue.
This hardship has been lessened by the efforts and thoughtfulness of the people of Thunder Bay, Greenstone, Timmins, Cochrane, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Kapuskasing and Hearst who have helped provide the basics of life including food, shelter and healthcare.  We are pleased to know that arrangements are in place to ensure the children of Kashechewan will be able to complete their school year.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the people in these eight cities and towns for having done and continuing to do whatever they can to make lives more comfortable for the residents of these two evacuated communities.  I also want to thank the Province of Ontario for its assistance in providing emergency preparedness and response services to these First Nations.
Your collective efforts speak to the generous nature of Canadians everywhere.
Jim Prentice ,
Minister of Indian Affairs
and Northern Development