SLAVE LAKE, AB, May 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Slave Lake... Residents of the Lesser Slave Lake region struck by the May 2011 wildfires will commemorate the strength of their communities coming together in a time of need with a special event featuring remarks by Premier Alison Redford on May 15 in the Town of Slave Lake.
"The recovery and rebuilding that has taken place in the Lesser Slave Lake region over the past year is a true Alberta story. Albertans rise up in the face of adversity, they support their neighbours, and they shape the future of their communities," said Premier Redford.
"These residents are an inspiration to all of us and we are proud to stand with them in the rebuilding process."
The Lesser Slave Lake Regional Tri-Council is organizing the event with the theme of 'We Are One Year Stronger.' The event honours the communities' spirit and respects individuals who were most affected. The public is invited to the 10 a.m. ceremony at the Slave Lake Multi Recreation facility.
"You always think of your neighbours as being next door or across the street," said Denny Garratt, Reeve of the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River. "When we were threatened by wildfires, we found out just how big our neighbourhood is. We now know we have neighbours everywhere in Alberta, and across Canada! We are so grateful for the help we have received."
"We are approaching the first anniversary with mixed emotions," said Town of Slave Lake Mayor, Karina Pillay-Kinnee. "We are immensely proud of what our people have achieved in the rebuilding process, and that we are a community that pulls together.
"We are also grateful for the tremendous support we have received. At the same time, we are saddened by the scope of our losses and the fact that 200 families remain displaced and living in interim housing. The healing continues for the entire community and this will take time. Our will remains strong and together, we will forge ahead with the rebuild and recovery."
This was an unprecedented disaster in Alberta that created an extraordinary task of recovery and rebuilding of communities. As a result, the regional Tri-Council was formed with representatives from the town, municipal district and Sawridge First Nation leading the design, coordination and administration of recovery efforts.
"The formation and function of the Tri-Council has been unique and historical for Canada," said Sawridge First Nation Chief, Roland Twinn.
"One of the main attributes of the Tri-Council is that it reaches key decisions by consensus. I am not aware of any other situation where municipal governments and First Nations have worked so closely together, or achieved so much in such a short time," Twinn added.
The Government of Alberta has allocated $289 million toward the wildfire response, recovery and rebuilding efforts to help return the Slave Lake area to a pre-disaster condition.
Recent photos of the rebuilding effort are available at:
Slave Lake Multi Recreation Facility
305 - 6th Ave. SW
Slave Lake, AB.
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