House for teacher torched in suspected arson on Shamattawa First Nation
Community has struggled to retain teachers due to concerns over arsons involving kids
A suspected arson believed to have been set by kids destroyed a housing unit set aside for a teacher in the remote northern Manitoba community of Shamattawa First Nation
Chief Jeffrey Napaokesik told CBC News a teacherage was torched a week ago. Someone found maintenance keys and entered the locked unit, he said.
Napaokesik said no one was living in the unit at the time. There's no word yet on the damage.
Shamattawa has struggled to retain teachers and had to delay the start of the school year this fall due to a shortage of staff. The community was eventually able to recruit enough teachers to start the year, but Napaokesik said some have already quit due to safety concerns.
The community is still rebuilding after losing its band office and only grocery store a year ago to a fire set by kids. A 12-year-old boy was charged with arson in that incident, but five other kids were too young to be charged.
The community has also lost a warehouse, a portion of an old school and several houses to arson.
Napaokesik says it's "scary" that these arsons are still happening.
With files from Jill Coubrough and Cameron MacLean