Tips sought to douse suspected arsonist on Sheg First Nation

by Alicia McCutcheon

SHEGUIANDAH—There is a suspected arsonist on the Sheguiandah First Nation, with the latest of three fires occurring on the early morning of Friday, September 2, when the community’s post office kiosk was completely destroyed.

“This has been a roller coaster ride for Sheg,” said United Chiefs and Council of Manitoulin Anishnaabe Police Chief Rodney Nahwegahbow, noting the previous two fires in August.

On August 2, a pickup truck was set ablaze on Sheguiandah’s powwow grounds and six days later, on August 8, a small utility shed located near the community round house was also decimated by fire.

Last Friday’s blaze also damaged telephone lines, causing much of the community to be without telecommunication for a large part of the day, the chief added.

“This has been largely property damage, but the chief (Chief Orville Aguonie) is worried about the fires and he hopes to gain the cooperation of the public.”

“The police are taking this very seriously with the thought that this could lead to more fires that could have the propensity to endanger lives,” Police Chief Nahwegahbow said. “We’re asking people to come forward with anything that may seem suspicious.”

He explained that the investigation has led them to believe that because of the short distance between fires, and the nature of the fires, it is the same person, or persons, involved.

“We’re always encouraging people to come forward, either through Crimestoppers, or by contacting the office directly,” he said. “And Chief Aguonie encourages members of his community to call. Usually people have information, it’s just a matter of how much encouragement they need.”