August 31, 2015


Point of View

The fortunate few

Geordie Rae Jr. hugs his wife Rose and their son Lucas, 3, in their newly-renovated kitchen. The family didn't have running water, a kitchen sink or a proper bathroom before. 
(JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
July 2010 - Geordie Rae Jr. takes a break in the family home in St.Theresa Point First Nation after hauling water by foot to his family's home. 

August 2011 - Geordie Rae Jr. takes a break while renovating his new bathroom with running water. 

(JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
July 2010 - Lucas Rae  plays with the treated water in his home  in St.Theresa Point First Nation. The family gets by with just a few buckets of fresh water a day.

August 2011 - Lucas, 3, turns the taps in his new bathroom under construction.    

(JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
July 2010 - The  family  bathroom in the Harper home in St.Theresa Point First Nation, consisted of a slop pail and bags of dirty laundry. 

August 2011 - Lucas Rae, 3,  gives the thumbs up for his new bathroom being renovating with running water. 

(JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Wasagamack First Nation- Richard Andrews lives, often with five other adults and his seven or eight grandchildren in what is likely the most squalid home on the reserve with the most pressing sanitation problems in the province. There is no running water to wash clothes, bathe the gaggle of muddy toddlers, do dishes or keep the floors clean. The family shares a slop pail, lined with a garbage bag, in what passes for a bathroom.
(JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Wasagamack First Nation- Richard Andrews' grandchildren run in and outside their rundown trailer. Up to 13 people are crammed into the home without running water.    
(JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Standing in the gloom of his sagging trailer, he surveys the muddy floor, the goopy flypaper dangling from the kitchen ceiling, the piles of dirty clothes and the dishes stacked in a sink with no faucet. Graffiti and children's scribbles cover what remains of the walls, around holes that allow pink insulation to peek out. It's freezing in the winter, mouldy when the furnace kicks in and worse than even the slummiest apartment in Winnipeg.
Overcrowding and lack of proper sanitation has rendered Andrews' home a lost cause, yet it is still home to several children and adults who have nowhere else to go.
(JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Filthy floors and rotting walls are a grim reality for the 13 people who call Richard Andrews' rundown trailer home.
(JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
A typical slop pail in Wasagamack First Nation.  
(JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Kevin Taylor lives with cerebral palsy in St. Theresa Point in Island Lakes. His life is a struggle, made worse by the fact that he doesn't have running water.

(JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Kevin Taylor struggles to dry his hands. His mother Alice has filed a human rights complaint to provide him with proper services on the reserve. 

(JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Taylor makes a tortuous trip out to the biffy. 
(JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Positioning his crutches carefully on the sinking wooden palettes that make a path, Taylor inches past the home's garbage pile, where the family dumps their slop pail.

(JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Rubena Harper meticulously dries every fork, every knife, a ladle and a pizza slicer, wheeling back and forth from the sink to a small table in her kitchen.
July 2010 - Elder  Zach Harper in his  home  in St.Theresa Point First Nation. Harper has become frail from his past fight with tuberculosis. For years, the family has lived with no running water. 

August 2011 - Zach Harper waited 75 years to live in a house with running water. He died a week after his family home at St. Theresa Point First Nation was retrofitted to include running water, a kitchen sink and a proper bathroom in September.

(JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Geordie Rae Jr. hugs his wife Rose and their son Lucas, 3, in their newly-renovated kitchen. The family didn't have running water, a kitchen sink or a proper bathroom before. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
July 2010 - Geordie Rae Jr. takes a break in the family home in St.Theresa Point First Nation after hauling water by foot to his family's home. August 2011 - Geordie Rae Jr. takes a break while renovating his new bathroom with running water. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
July 2010 - Lucas Rae plays with the treated water in his home in St.Theresa Point First Nation. The family gets by with just a few buckets of fresh water a day. August 2011 - Lucas, 3, turns the taps in his new bathroom under construction. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
July 2010 - The family bathroom in the Harper home in St.Theresa Point First Nation, consisted of a slop pail and bags of dirty laundry. August 2011 - Lucas Rae, 3, gives the thumbs up for his new bathroom being renovating with running water. (JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Wasagamack First Nation- Richard Andrews lives, often with five other adults and his seven or eight grandchildren in what is likely the most squalid home on the reserve with the most pressing sanitation problems in the province. There is no running water to wash clothes, bathe the gaggle of muddy toddlers, do dishes or keep the floors clean. The family shares a slop pail, lined with a garbage bag, in what passes for a bathroom. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Wasagamack First Nation- Richard Andrews' grandchildren run in and outside their rundown trailer. Up to 13 people are crammed into the home without running water. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Standing in the gloom of his sagging trailer, he surveys the muddy floor, the goopy flypaper dangling from the kitchen ceiling, the piles of dirty clothes and the dishes stacked in a sink with no faucet. Graffiti and children's scribbles cover what remains of the walls, around holes that allow pink insulation to peek out. It's freezing in the winter, mouldy when the furnace kicks in and worse than even the slummiest apartment in Winnipeg. "This place should be condemned already," Andrews says with a shrug. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Overcrowding and lack of proper sanitation has rendered Andrews' home a lost cause, yet it is still home to several children and adults who have nowhere else to go. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Filthy floors and rotting walls are a grim reality for the 13 people who call Richard Andrews' rundown trailer home. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
A typical slop pail in Wasagamack First Nation. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Kevin Taylor lives with cerebral palsy in St. Theresa Point in Island Lakes. His life is a struggle, made worse by the fact that he doesn't have running water. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Kevin Taylor struggles to dry his hands. His mother Alice has filed a human rights complaint to provide him with proper services on the reserve. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Taylor makes a tortuous trip out to the biffy. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Positioning his crutches carefully on the sinking wooden palettes that make a path, Taylor inches past the home's garbage pile, where the family dumps their slop pail. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Rubena Harper meticulously dries every fork, every knife, a ladle and a pizza slicer, wheeling back and forth from the sink to a small table in her kitchen. "If you keep the body in motion, it stays in motion," says the 65-year-old. Harper, whose hands are clawed from the same arthritis that keeps her mostly wheelchair-bound, has no running water in her tidy kitchen, so she does her dishes using water hauled from the communal tap or trucked to a water tank. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
July 2010 - Elder Zach Harper in his home in St.Theresa Point First Nation. Harper has become frail from his past fight with tuberculosis. For years, the family has lived with no running water. August 2011 - Zach Harper waited 75 years to live in a house with running water. He died a week after his family home at St. Theresa Point First Nation was retrofitted to include running water, a kitchen sink and a proper bathroom in September. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Scroll down to load more

Top