On October 28,2011, Theresa Spence, chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation, declared a state of emergency in her community in northern Ontario.
The housing conditions on the reserve made international headlines and revealed the often hidden realities of extreme poverty in one of the world`s wealthiest countries. A media storm erupted in Canada as the plight of the isolated First Nation captivated the country. However, what was largely absent from the genuine concern and political finger-pointing portrayed in the press were the voices of the people of Attawapiskat themselves. Alanis Obomsawin journeys to Attawapiskat on the shores of the Kattawapiskak River and introduces us to the residents of the beleaguered community.