CBC/FREE PRESS PHOTO
An 11-year old boy is dead. He died in a house fire on the Shamattawa reserve, an isolated northern community approximately 750 kilometres away from Winnipeg.
This little boy, identified as Edward Redhead, was in the care of family services at the time of his death, apparently orphaned by his mother who committed suicide.
A 16-year old boy has been arrested in connection with the fire.
I am so angry right now.
This little boy fell through the cracks of a system, died alone in a shabby house engulfed in flames, and his absence went unnoticed. He wasn't reported missing for a number of days.
This story is tragic disparity to the core, and yet in a week or so his name will be forgotten from the headlines because something else will have happened by then.
I don't want to sit here and blame the government, or the "system", or the illusive "white man". But something has got to change. -- And I know it's hypocritical coming from me, considering that I have lived in the comfortable city all my life. I know that I don't know what it feels like not to have heat or drinkable water. I admit that I have no idea what it's like to live on the edge of the province, in the middle of nowhere, isolated. But I do know that something in the faulty system needs to be changed. (Perhaps the first thing would be to move beyond blaming the "system", and actually creating a process where change is made...)
With this little boy's tragic death comes the question of how can something like this can happen. -- I can't even put into words how devastated I am.