The Anglican Church of Canada has announced financial support for the Saskatchewan wildfire relief efforts. Financial donations will be used to provide care for the more than 12,000 evacuees.
On behalf of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has pledged $5,000 to Diocesan Indigenous Bishop of Missinipi Adam Halkett and to Diocesan Bishop of Saskatchewan Michael Hawkins who are providing on-the-ground support.
The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund has also pledged $15,000 to the Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC). Meanwhile, the Anglican Foundation has pledged $5,000 in aid to the diocese of Saskatchewan.
“The donations are a sign of our love and support for Bishop Michael and Bishop Adam, and all those dear and faithful who are reaching out to those who have been evacuated,” Archbishop Hiltz said. “This is a very difficult time and we continue to pray for everyone affected by these fires.”
On Wednesday, July 8, Bishop Hawkins and Bishop Halkett were scheduled to have a conference call with Saskatchewan clergy to provide an update on donations and how they will be spent.
Bishop Halkett—who lives in the community of Montreal Lake Cree Nation, which has come under threat from the fire—said their hope was to try and help families in need.
“It’ll probably be focused on the evacuees, because some of my community members lost houses in Montreal Lake … Some of them are homeless now because of that,” he said.
Providing an update on relief efforts, Bishop Halkett said that the situation was becoming more stressful, as evacuees wanting to return home were still unable to do so because of safety concerns.
“They didn’t allow anybody to go in [to Montreal Lake] yesterday or the day before, because of the thick smoke and also the fear of the fire flaring up again,” he said.
He expressed his gratitude for the church’s financial donation.
“We’re very glad to receive any kind of donations from anyone, especially the General Synod … I’m very grateful on behalf of all the evacuees in Saskatchewan, because I pretty well oversee all of northern Saskatchewan, so I can relate to what their appreciation is for that.”
“The support that we’ve received, both in terms of prayer and finances, has been overwhelming,” Bishop Hawkins added.
“There’s really been a sense of solidarity. We talk in the diocese of Saskatchewan about being mamuwe, which is Cree for ‘together,’ and there’s a real sense that Anglicans across the country are together with our folks in this crisis.”
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