3.0 Community Services
3.1 Family Services
Tikanagan Child and Family Services branch office is located in Wunnumin Lake serving three communities which includes Wunnumin Lake, Kingfisher Lake and Kasabonika since 2004. The branch currently employs five local band members. The main office Tikanagan Child and Family Services is located in Sioux Lookout.
The Tikanagan Child and Family Services provides the following services:
- Child Protection-When a child is in need of protection, Tikinagan choose the least intrusive measures while keeping in mind the protection of the child as the overriding concern.
- Child Care-A great deal of work is spent in finding suitable placement and establishing appropriate plans of care for the children and the families who may require this intervention.
- Permanent Care-is the long term placement of children through the use of Crown Wardship or legal adoption.
- Community based Customary Care-Tikanagan is currently exploring the use of Community based Customary Care as another level of care for children.
- Family Support-This service includes a range of prevention strategies that provide support to individuals and families who are experiencing difficulties and are at risk of children coming into care.
- Community Services-Tikanagan provides as much assistance as possible to communities adn support to individuals requesting prevention strategies such as workshops, community education, awareness and community wide strategic approaches to pressing problems such as substance abuse and youth suicide.
- Family Counselling Unit-This unit offers programs and services that assist in strengthening and supporting individuals, families and communities.
- Quake-E-Say-Win Children Centre-The centre is an 8 bed group home in Sandy Lake. It provides services to children in care with a First Nation environment and is open to children, primarily 13-16 year olds who exhibit behaviour consistent with abuse, neglect, family breakdown, alcohol abuse or solvent abuse.
- Chakabesh Youth Centre-It provides residential services for children in care in Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug. The overall goal is to teach youth to be productive, self-reliant individuals.
- Band Family Service Worker Program-There are currently 33.5 Band Family Service Workers. It is a community base service administered by each First Nation throughout the catchment area of Tikanagan. In collaboration with Tikanagan the program strives to provide child and family services including community support; family support and protection; and emergency services.
3.2 Band Housing
Most of the homes, if not all, in the community are band houses that were contructed in the early seventies to present time. The band housing program provides shelter for the band members and their families. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada provides fixed annual grants for the band housing program each fiscal year without annual funding increases while inflation and cost of living increases. The band housing program cannot meet the need of more and better housing in the community due to fixed annual funding formula, backlog of new housing requests and house deteriorations. There are approximately one hundred and thirty-two (132) houses including five (5) new CMHC rental housing units in the community while many more are on the waiting list for new house. Most of the houses in the community are serviced with water and sewer, electricity, access roads and telephone services.
3.3Community O&M Services
Community O&M Services in a role as a local public works provides community road maintences; heavy equipment operations; community fuel hauls; community waste management; community raw sewage disposal and treatment,; bio cell hauling and maintence. Local people are employed in the following positions: manager, assistant manager and three (3) full time operators /drivers.
The community has two churches (see picture 6 & 7) and they are Anglican and Pentocostal Assembly.
They are supported and cared for by the local clergy and designated volunteers. At the Anglican church, the services are held every Sundays. Reverend Jowin Bighead is an ordained minister and conducts various ceremonies such as weddings, baptisms and funeral services. The Bishop comes once a year to perform the confirmation ceremony.
The Lighthouse Pentecostal Assembly church was built in 2003. Recognize this devine calling and confer on the fore said the right to “Preach the word”, administer the ordinance of the church, perform the rite of marriage, bury the dead and exericse all other funcation pertaining to the christian ministry in compliance with the laws and custom of the respective provinces in Canada. So long, as fellowship is maintained with the western Ontario district of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada and one’s spirit and practice are such as become the Gospel of Christ.
Keenawach Communication Society (see picture 8) provides local radio FM programming for the community. Radio station is available for people to broadcast information, make news announcement; and hosting bingo, radio games and a place to have rummage/bake sales. Wawatay Radio Network provides broadcast through
the local radio station. These broadcasts include such as news from around the communities, upcoming events and weather reports.
The post office (see picture 9) is located inside the community residential building. First class mail is delivered daily from Sioux Lookout by Wasaya Airlines. Second class mail is also brought in twice a week such as catalogue orders and large items. Through agreement with Canada Post and Wunnumin Lake First Nation, a contract was negotiated for the First Nation to provide mail service for Wunnumin Lake. A local band member is hired as post master full-time and is open Monday-Friday except Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
Bell Canada provides local telephone and long distance communication services through a micro-wave communication tower (See Picture 10) which was constructed in early seventies. At the present time, there is no repair service for the community, however, repairs and installations for telephones are done by contacting business office and requesting for services. The telephone directory for the community can be found in the Bell telephone book.
Cable and internet is part of communication and a form of media. Internet has been in the community since 2001 at a few organizations and now in 2010, every household has access to internet. Contact the economic development office to be connected with internet or cable service. Tel: (807) 442-2518
3.6 Community Hall
Norman Martin Community Hall (see picture 11) hosts various engagements such as conferences, meetings, gatherings and entertainment. The building has heat, electricity and wheelchair accessible. An expansion was done constructed to additional room to increase the capacity, to install indoor plumbing and water/sewer. Bookings are scheduled and reserved in advance. There is a maintance person who looks after the building. To book or reserve an engagement call the O & M manager at the band office. Tel: (807) 442-2555 or 2565 Norman Hall Tel: (807) 442-2526
Pipestone Power Authority is operated and owned by Wunnumin Lake First Nation which provides all hydro services (see pictures 12, 13 & 14) to the community for both residents and commercial buildings. A new power plant was installed in 2008 or 2009 at the airport. It is to provide the growing demand for electricity from the community. All fuel is transported through the winter road system that is open once a year and is transported by fuel tankers in bulk. There is a utility truck and pickup truck which the plant workers use work purposes.
In addition, Pipestone Power Authority provides administration for plumbing and sewage disposal for the whole community. This is done by hiring local band members to perform repairs and hauling wastes from each unit as required.
3.8 Fire Protection
Josh Mamakwa is the Fire Prevention Officer for the Wunnumin Lake First Nation on a volunteer basis with atleast ten volunteer fire fighters that are trained. Fire equipment is in place, a tanker (fire truck) thats equipped with a 18 horsepower honda water pump with hoses sized 1½” to 2 ½”, nozzles, SCBA’s, bunker gears. A fire hall has not been constructed to s.tore fire equipment and fire truck, however there is a 10’x12’ shack across from the band office to store our equipment. As for the fire truck, it’s been stored at the band garage for warmth during the winter season.
The fire prevention officer has various items available on stock such as smoke/carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers (ABC) and chimney sweepers. If required, the fire prevention officer can be available to inspect residential houses for defects in the chimney systems.
3.9 Fuel and Gas Services
Cheekeesis Petro Inc is owned and operated by Wunnumin Lake First Nation. It was established to store bulk fuel in certified double walled tanks located at the airport. Cheekeesis Petro Inc purchases 1.2 million litres of fuel every winter which is transported by fuel transport trucks through the winter road months. The fuel is for the diesel generators that provide the electricity in the community and the fuel is sold for heating at the Band Office, School, Nursing station and many other facilities that have fuel furnaces. Cheekeesis Petre Inc operates gas service on call basis.
Northern Store also provides gas services from Monday to Saturday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
In 1988, a new nursing station was completed along with the new school for the community. In 1994, Wunnumin Lake First Nation assumed management of the community health programs and the nursing station along with other two Shibogama communities. The Shibogama First Nations Council communities were hoping that, by taking more control over health services, they would be able to provide more appropriate and acceptable services, hire more local staff, develop programs to meet specific community needs and demonstrate that First Nations can be successfully self managing.
In administration consists of a Health Director and an Assistant Health Director. In the nursing program consists of two nurses and with a management support of a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN), Community Health Representative (CHR), Referral Clerk and a Filing Clerk. Operation and Maintenance of the nursing station consists of a Housekeeper and a Janitor. In the Building, a healthy communities consists of a Resource Team Co-ordinator, Mental Health Worker, Youth Councillor, NNADAP worker, Crisis Intervention Worker, two Youth Workers for the Youth Program and qualified mental health councillors that come on a monthly basis. Homecare Program consists of a Homecare Coordinator, three Home-Supports workers and four home-makers. Other programs are Patient Transportation, Security Services, Healthy Babies /Healthy Children, Early Childhood, Maternal Child Health, Aboriginal Diabetes and Telemedicine.
3.11 Police Services
There are two Nishinawbe-Aski Police Services (NAPS) officers in the community. (see picture 16) Two First Nation constables are hired by and trained by the NAPS through their special constable program. Ontario Provincial Northwest Patrol unit provides assistance on special circumstances that are beyond the control of the Band, band constables and NAPS officers. A building is provided by the Band for their headquarters with two cells. One cruiser is also available for patrolling the community and transporting incarcerated individuals. A new headquarter will be constructed soon.
The landfill disposal site is located less than 1 km from the community. Garbage disposal is done on an individual basis as required. A loader and bulldozer clears the collected disposal material by making trenches and covering it with sand and dirt. Second site located about 2 km from the community is the junkyard with many unused and old vehicles.
Two merchandising establishments are in the community. One is the Northern Store (see picture 17), an outside company that has been operating in the community for years. The Northern is wheelchair accessible. General Store (see picture 18) is a community owned store and operated through the Economic Development office. Both stores sell general merchandise, fresh produce, perishables and non-perishables. All goods are transported by air and winter road system during the winter months, if possible.
There is a locally owned corner store called Soloman’s (see picture 19), which provides confectionary, some basic groceries, and favourite summer drink- slushy in variety of flavours. Soloman Mamakwa owns the family business has been in operation for number of years. The store is wheelchair accessible.
Recreational activity is planned and implemented through the local recreation committee, which includes annual events: Christmas activities, hockey and broomball tournaments. Also, Wunnumin Lake First Nation host an annual summer festival. Various picnic and park areas have been designated for leisure activities. Several beaches, lakes, rivers, trails, and camping grounds surround the community for summer outdoor activities such as swimming, biking, camping, fishing, canoeing, and boating. Winter activities include riding the skidoo, sliding, cross-country skiing and snow shoeing. Other activities include baseball, gym related sports (volleyball, floor hockey, basketball, badminton), special events and skating at the outdoor rink and the arena. Website www.wlfnrecreation.myknet.org
3.15 Community Arena
An indoor arena (see picture 20) was constructed, complete with artificial ice system and a zamboni. Inside the arena it has bleachers for spectators, change rooms and confectionary area. The arena accommodates hockey, broom ball practices and tournaments when the winter season arrives. It is wheelchair accessible.
Ministry of Transportation (MTO) through their northern airports program had a gravel surfaced airstrip and is operational all year round. The airport has (see pictures 21 & 22) a main office and garage, terminal building, fuel storage area. The road leading from the community to the airport is maintained by MTO employees. Vehicles include automobiles, ATVs, and snowmobiles. Today, Wasaya Airways provide scheduled and chartered services for the community. Another charter service available is North Start based in Pickle Lake. During the winter season, a seasonal road is constructed from the Windigo highway which is very crucial for the communities. This service is necessary for the communities to deliver bulk material and large volumes of fuel. Communities rely on the winter roads because it is cheaper to transport than delivering by air.
The court system consists of a judge and lawyers that represent their clients. Court date is appointed 3-4 times a year and all officials are flown in. Each client is processed equally according to the law required by the courts. If an individual is convicted and found guilty, they are apprehended with the proper authorities and is transported to an appropriate institution.
3.18 Seniors Complex
A modern facility (see pictures 23 & 24) was build in 1995 with six units that has four single bedrooms and two double bedroom units. The complex is equipped with electricity, lounge area, running water and is wheelchair accessible. All units are available for occupancy for the senior citizens from the community.
3.19 Water Plant
A new water treatment plant was built in 2004 and commissioned in July 2005. It was built in order to cope with the community expansion and to use new modern technology to provide running water for the community. (see pictures 25 & 26) Two local people maintain the plant and do water testing at various organizations.