What 3 residents wish for La Loche's future

CBC News asked La Loche residents what they wished the future will hold for the northern Saskatchewan community.
John Montgrand, Emile Herman and Tyler Montrand share what they wish the future will hold for the village of La Loche. (Matt Kruchak/CBC)

As La Loche residents grieve over the four lives lost in a shooting last week, the national spotlight is on the number of social issues the northern Saskatchewan community struggles with — from addiction to unemployment to poverty. However, residents are passionate about their village and hope is alive for a healthier community. 

Here's what three La Loche residents wish the future will bring to the lake-side-village, surrounded by the boreal forest. 

Emile Herman wishes to see a future filled with employment opportunities for young people.

"If there were a lot of jobs, people would work," he said.

According to the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate in the community was estimated at 22.3 per cent. In comparison, Saskatchewan's unemployment rate in July 2015 was 5.2 per cent. 

Instead of people spending money on bingo, John Montgrand would like to see them saving their cash for minor sports.

"What I wish for the future — come on, let's have something. Let's change this community. Let's get some facilities going for the kids," he said.

There is an arena in the village, but many residents say it's not enough and more sporting facilities are needed. 

Tyler Montgrand said he couldn't say what he wished for the future of La Loche, because he would have to think about all communities, not only one.

"We are all one in the same," he said. "The only thing different are choices. If we choose to be the example we wish to see, we could make a difference. When one stands up, somebody follows and usually that's how things work — domino effect," he said.

"If we can all follow and do the right thing, together I see we can make a very big difference."