Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy and Deputy Grand Chief Goyce Kakegamic are travelling to Kashechewan today to be with the families and communities as they mourn the tragic deaths of two young community members. The fire also injured 3 NAPS workers trying to free the young men from the building.
From the CBC News story about the fire at http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2006/01/08/kashechewan-fire-060108.html
Fire kills two jailed men on Northern Ontario reserve
Mon, 09 Jan 2006
The Ontario and federal governments are facing fresh accusations that they have failed the reserve of Kashechewan, after a fire at a jail that killed two prisoners and badly injured a police officer.
Only two months earlier, the province ordered a mass evacuation of the reserve, which is on the shore of James Bay, after long-standing contaminated water problems became a national scandal.
Tragedy struck again on Sunday afternoon when a blaze started in the building that housed the jail and killed two young men who were locked in their cells.
An officer that tried to open the cell doors was seriously injured and has been flown to the burn unit of a Toronto hospital for treatment.
Another officer and a civilian guard were treated for smoke inhalation, the Nishnawbe-Askia police force said.
It wasn't immediately clear what caused the fire or why the officer couldn't open the doors.
But New Democrat legislator Charlie Angus, the MP for the Timmins-James Bay riding, said the jail was substandard and lacked proper doors and padlocks.
"It just was in terrible, terrible condition, holes in the walls, the cells were inadequate," he told the Canadian Press late Sunday.
"It looked more like something you see in Sarajevo than the province of Ontario."
Angus blamed the provincial and federal governments for the conditions, calling it yet another example of the lack of infrastructure on the reserve.
In late October, the Ontario government ordered the evacuation of the Kashechewan First Nation after E. coli bacteria were found in its water supply.
About 1,500 people were temporarily relocated to other parts of Ontario.
Angus also played a key role in exposing the community's plight at that time.
A December 2005 paper entitled Literacy and Digital Technologies: Linkages and Outcomes published by Industry Canada and Stats Canada highlights the links between literacy and computer usage. For example ... "adults who have average or higher literacy skills and who are intensive computer users have about three to six times the odds of being in the top quartile of personal income, compared to respondents with below average literacy skills and less intensive computer use."
The authors describe the paper as an investigation of "relationships between adult literacy skills and use of information and communications technologies (ICTs)."
Under Findings ... "Results also confirmed an association between literacy skills and ICT use. While controlling for other factors, adults’ perceived usefulness and attitude toward computers, use of the Internet, and use of computers for task-oriented purposes increased as literacy skill levels increased. This was true for all four literacy domains examined. In most countries, for example, respondents with medium to high prose literacy skills had between two to three times the odds of being a high-intensity computer user compared to those with below average literacy skills.
Those without access to ICTs also tended to have lower literacy levels than the rest of the population. In addition, only a minority of non-users of computers expressed an interest in starting to use a computer. This has implications for all nations if those individuals who perhaps stand to benefit most from ICTs (by obtaining health, employment and government information, for example) are not in a position to access and use them."