Wildfire evacuees were once again getting onto buses Monday morning, but this time it was to go home.
Outside the Sandman Hotel in Regina, younger evacuees were loading the bus and carrying bags for the elders. Some families carry suitcases but others only have plastic garbage bags full of clothing.
Rosemary Hegland is from La Ronge First Nation. For the past two and a half weeks she has been staying in Regina. Even though they are far from their homes, she has witnessed people in communities pulling together.
“It’s good that I see families coming together and doing things for one another, translating for one another and communicating with one another,” she said.
She says that sense of togetherness makes her happy.
“I’m almost in tears seeing them board the bus that they’re going home to familiar places.”
Hegland knows there is no place quite like home.
“My dream was to see the green trees, but it’s not going to be like that. It’s going to be lots of ashes and smelling lots of smoke but not as bad as it was when I left home.”
Hegland says the evacuees have been treated well during their stay in Regina. She has made a few trips to take people to the Gathering Place to pick up donated clothing. This weekend, she says volunteers there provided a traditional supper of moose meat for the elders who had been left behind.