An elder from Pelican Narrows is apologizing to neighbours area Henk Ruys Soccer Centre for the behaviour of a few evacuees, and is calling on tribal leaders to create more activities to prevent further harm.
Area residents raised concerns over yelling at all hours, fights in the field and garbage being strewn as evacuees poured in from the northern community last week.
Elder JB Custer, 68, told 650 CKOM Tuesday afternoon he feels bad for the homeowners affected.
“I’m very sorry these things are happening in Saskatoon,” he said.
The Pelican Narrows resident said many of the evacuees have never been to a large city, and children who were misbehaving were being punished accordingly.
“They’re used to the countrysides where there’s fun,” he said. “They’re used to swimming and hunting–they’ve never seen cities like this before.”
A veteran of several evacuations, Custer said the people at the soccer centre needed more activities while they were away from home.
He suggested chiefs from Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation could coordinate with the FSIN and Saskatoon Tribal Council on programs.
“Maybe a circle check or a round dance, something positive,” he said.
Custer said it would be important to emphasize evening activities like conversations with elders and drum circles to help keep children out of trouble.
But the ultimate remedy would be getting back to their home community.
“I’m just hoping these fires will end soon,” he said.
— With files from 650 CKOM’s Celine Grimard