Inspired by the wildly popular photography project Humans of New York, HuffPost Canada decided to ask the people of Attawapiskat to tell their own stories.
We've partnered with Holly Nakogee, a 19-year-old woman from the First Nation reserve in Northern Ontario. She'll be continuing the project on Facebook, presenting life in Attawapiskat, one story at a time.
Here are the first six, starting with Holly herself.
"I never got my own room until 14, 15 maybe. I was always sharing. We used to live in an old contaminated house. there was like mold all the time and I thought that was normal growing up. My two older brothers, my older sister, and my younger sister, and my mom along with me, we all shared one room together until we finally moved."
"Electricity would go out suddenly in our house. We had a lot of holes in the floor and mold in the corners and every winter the door would shift and there would be like an open big crack under the door where snow would come in and the door would get frozen shut. Every morning we would have a hard time opening it. "
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"I think after college I want to travel because over in this town I just feel trapped with everything. High prices, not enough resources, like I feel like I can’t do anything. But when I’m somewhere else there are more options"
- Holly Nakogee, 19
"The house was on fire and my two nieces weren't there and I noticed my sister, their mother, screaming and crying. So, I decided to go back into the house because I felt bad for the mother. I was scared, I had a bunch of emotions in my head."
"But your instinct was to go back and save them?"
"When you think about it now, are you proud you saved them?"
"Yes, but sad when I think about what happened, especially on my birthday."
"On your birthday? That's quite the birthday present to save them. Do you consider yourself a hero?"
"Yeah, I guess."
- Jack Linklater Jr.
Neepin was pretty shy. His grandmother said that when he grows up he wants to be a police officer.
- Neepin Sutherland, Grade 1
"There’s nothing to do here. No activities going on.”
- Sabette Nakogee, Grade 9
"What’s the best thing about living in Attawapiskat?"
"The new school."
- Shanel Wheesk, Grade 5
"I want to try and be an astronaut, like work for that. I don’t want to be here when I grow up."
- Ashleigh Sutherland, 19
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