Janza joined the OPP as a police officer in 2005.  Her last assignment was a fly-in to Pikangikum – 500km north of Red Lake on Easter weekend 2010.  The 20 year old pilot and landed on a short, gravel runway.  Janza was greeted by an 8 year old girl who had nailed 2 hockey sticks together and wrote her name on them – a cross for her grave, and she asked if Janza would shoot her.  Many other kids were wandering around with shot guns shooting dogs (many run wild and are a risk.)
 
Only 20% of Pikangikum homes have electricity and running water.  That means 80% of homes don’t have toilets!  If it’s really cold outside you just throw your family’s waste bucket out the back door.  The soil and lakes are SO contaminated with waste that they can’t fish or grow produce.  There are no roads, no streets, no addresses, and no garbage collection (garbage is even thrown on roofs.)  The residents pay over $80 for a case of Nestle bottled water, $16 for a bag of apples, and $13 for a cauliflower.  Fresh produce costs SO much.
 
The police detachment had these good facilities and were disliked for it.  Officers had fire axes in their trailer in case we had to hack our way out if our trailer was set on fire in the night. One night 5 kids under the age of 14 lit a house on fire because they were bored.  These stories reflect the difficulty and despair of the community.
 
Janza has since taken a leave of absence from the OPP and has been working on building relationships with the community of Pikangikum.  When she got home, Janza realized she was pregnant with Nessie – she was there with her the whole time :) Last summer Janza met with the teacher that teaches art at Pik – and asked what we can do.  The teacher replied that they don’t need anyone to swoop in and rescue them, but rather they need to find some purpose.  So, 6 healing blankets were made and sent them to Pikangikum and they were given to the students who needed them the most. People collected 350 pairs of socks and mittens this past fall and sent them to Pikangikum – but somehow it just doesn’t ever feel like enough.
 
Here, at Loughborough Public School students created a Wampum that placed 2nd in the Imagine A Canada national competition. This year they created another Wampum – What dish do you want to feed your grandchildren from?  And the kids were asked to imagine what life would be like if we had a closer relationship with the land.  There are many ways to help, but If  you do nothing else – watch the documentary First Contact.
 
Janza was thanked for her presentation by Robert Reid.  Janza's Power Point presentation will be made available to club members
Sponsors