A woman is concerned about the living conditions of her 69-year-old mother, Betsy Bird, and the four foster children she's taking care of on Big River First Nation.
Meagan Vivian says two years ago her mother’s house became "overrun" with bedbugs and cockroaches. She says Big River First Nation councillors fumigated the and promised $1,500 towards renovations.
Bird’s family began renovating the house themselves, tearing out drywall and insulation, with the expectation the money would be used for repairs.
“And then there was an election, new membership came in, and for some reason, it was ignored,” said Vivian, who claims the plumbing in the house no longer works. “My mom cannot live in that house like that any longer, especially with kids in care.”
The housing coordinator for Big River First Nation, Archie Rabbitskin, declined to comment on the situation.
Chief Jack Rayne said a new administration can’t keep other people’s promises, before saying "people need to be patient."
“This place has been in the queue since the fall, the place probably is getting started here within a week,” he said. “But we don't get lots of money here for renovation dollars.”
Vivian says she’s been ignored by Big River First Nation's leaders and just wants her mother and four foster kids to be able to live comfortably.
“She's an elder, she just wants to be at home,” she said. “That's her home, and that has been her home for 30 some years. She has raised all her children, all her grandchildren in that home.
“She was promised a renovation two years ago, and look at where we're at now, because somebody broke that promise.”