AMC supports the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council’s Declaration of a State of Emergency following devastating winter storm
October 13, 2019
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, MB. _ Grand Chief Arlen Dumas and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) are supporting the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council’s (IRTC) declaration of a State of Emergency following the disastrous winter storm this weekend. The six First Nations of IRTC – Dauphin River First Nation, Kinonjeoshtegon (Jackhead) First Nation, Lake Manitoba First Nation, Little Saskatchewan First Nation, Peguis First Nation, and Pinaymootang First Nation – have been without Hydro power for days, leaving citizens stranded with no heat or access to clean water, food, and fuel.
AMC is working together with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), the Province of Manitoba, and the Canadian Red Cross in coordinating efforts to evacuate residents of the IRTC Nations, beginning with the Elders, children, and people with life-threatening health conditions. Grand Chief Arlen Dumas has also made the federal ministers aware of the immediate need for response from all departments.
The Province of Manitoba has declared a State of Emergency for Manitoba Hydro efforts only – a step that allows extra resources to be allocated to restoring power in Manitoba, including bringing extra help from Hydro One in Ontario. Hydro crews are working round-the-clock to bring service back to all of Manitoba, but it may be days before full service is restored in all areas.
“The policies of ISC and the province to evacuate our people from our Nations after the 72-hour mark is unacceptable”, says AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas. “This policy may work in an urban setting where alternative resources are available, but it does not work in our remote communities. People have been without heat and water for days, including babies and children. We need to get them help immediately. All available resources need to be coordinated quickly and without delays from ISC and the province – these are peoples’ lives we’re talking about.”