Two-and-a-half years after flood waters washed away their homes, some Siksika residents are still in a state of limbo – wondering when their pleas for help will be heard.
“The community got scattered – we need to get back together,” said Ben Crowchief.
To draw attention to their plight, Crowchief organized a blockade on a Siksika Road, and evacuees are circulating a petition.
“A lot of people said the petition is a piece of paper. It’s different. I have stories of hardships, loneliness, home sickness, displacement,” he said.
“There’s over 1,079 evacuees affected.”
Since the flood, millions in government and donated dollars have been spent – much of it on temporary housing.
But members of the Siksika Nation claim the funds have been mismanaged.
“We don’t have a voice, we don’t know what’s happening with the dollars,” said Bradford Little Chief, a flood evacuee.
“It’s all verbal and I’ve been waiting for two years now coming on three, and there’s times I’ve had to quit because I haven’t known what’s going on.”
“We are all very frustrated,” added Leanne Sleigh, another flood evacuee.
There are plans for a new subdivision where they would live, but evacuees said there’s been little consultation regarding the proposed site.
It’s far removed from their former homes, which are now considered to be in a flood zone.
The Siksika chief had promised a review of the proposed location, and he insisted all the donated dollars are accounted for.
“They’re frustrated..they are angry (but) the accountability and transparency is all there – we got nothing to hide,” said Vincent Yellow Old Woman, Siksika chief.