Simeon Tshakapesh of Natuashish claims community needs more order
Former Mushuau Innu Band Council chief Simeon Tshakapesh returned to Natuashish earlier this month and made a shocking discovery when he inspected his property.
© Submitted photo
Simeon Tshakapesh claims that his shed used to be full of his possessions, including a komatik and a woodstove, but now it’s all been stolen.
Tshakapesh lived in Natuashish much of his life, but moved to Sheshatshiu in November 2013, after he decided not to rerun for chief in the upcoming election.
Even though Tshakapesh moved to Sheshatshiu, he still owns his former Natuashish residence. Upon inspecting it during his trip in July, Tshakapesh found that his property had been vandalized and items stolen from his shed.
“My God, I was shocked … everything was stolen and all my lumber was stolen. My homemade stove, cost over $400, was stolen,” said Tshakapesh.
“You name it, it’s all gone, and I’ve lost thousands and thousands of dollars worth of stuff.”
Tshakapesh also claims that his komatik, jerry cans, ropes and hunting supplies were taken as well.
He noticed that his fence had been torn down and damage was done to the doors and windows of his house.
Tshakapesh said his sister was living in the house between December and March, so he figures much of the vandalism and theft happened after she moved out.
When asked why he left his possessions behind when he moved to Sheshatshiu, Tshakapesh said he had secured his house and shed strongly before leaving. He was under the false impression that everything was safe.
“Everything was all secured … somehow they got into my house and somehow they got into my shed,” said Tshakapesh.
Even when he was chief, Tshakapesh was worried about his property. He claims to have moved to Sheshatshiu for his and his family’s safety.
“When I was chief, there was a lot of vandalism happened to my place. Even my truck was shot at. My windshields were damaged (repeatedly) … I couldn’t keep up with the windshields,” said Tshakapesh.
“There were a lot of fires started behind our house.”
Based on his personal experience and stories that he has heard from others in the community, Tshakapesh believes the situation with theft and vandalism is out of control.
“There’s no order there anymore; that’s what people are telling me, …” he said.
Sgt. Cal Barter of the Natuashish RCMP detachment said he couldn’t comment of the alleged theft and vandalism of Tshakapesh’s property because it’s an active file.
When asked about the issue of vandalism and break and enters in Natuashish, Barter said the problem there is no worse then any other community.
“It’s no different than any other place I’ve been in,” said Barter.
“Yes, there is vandalism in this community, there are break-and-enters in this community, but I’ve been a police officer for 21 years and there’s been break and enters and vandalism in every community that I’ve policed.”