Buffalo Narrows and Île-à-la-Crosse evacuees to return home by end of the week

Smoke captured in a camp west of Buffalo Narrows. The situation has since improved to the point some residents can return home. Courtesy Brock Hunter

Evacuees from Buffalo Narrows and Île-à-la-Crosse are expected to be able to return home by May 28th.

The evacuees are currently residing in Saskatoon’s Sheraton hotel and are receiving support from Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) and Métis Nation Saskatchewan.

The town council of Île-à-la-Crosse said on its Facebook page that it has rescinded its evacuation order as of Wednesday May 24th. The emergency declaration will stay in place until the 28th of May, making it so people suffering respiratory or cardiac conditions, elderly, infants, pregnant women and people requiring special care will be returning later in the week.

This was after consulting with the Northern Medical Health Officer, local health professionals and the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency.

Residents staying in Regina were brought back with buses Wednesday and Métis Nation Saskatchewan will return the evacuees from Saskatoon.

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Max Morin, an elderly refugee staying in Saskatoon said things were going well, everything considered.

“They have been treating us well here. Métis Nation provided us with food and they even organized activities. I got to watch the hockey game in the arena this weekend and they gave us old-timers a grand tour of Saskatoon,” Morin said.

“I’m really grateful to Métis Nation helping us out.”

Métis Nation was not the only organization helping out. The Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) gathered donations to help out the evacuees.

“We are happy that Métis Nation came in and helped out, but there is so much more to community than just hotel rooms and meals. We wanted to assist with helping the evacuees. So we set up some programming to keep people and especially the children, busy. It really helps with their mental health,” said president of CUMFI, Shirley Isbister.

She added that people are looking forward to going home.

“People felt displaced coming here and were worried for their properties, so they are very happy to be able to go home.”

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