AMC URGES MANITOBA TO ENGAGE FIRST NATIONS ON FLOODING PROJECTS
May 25, 2022
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) renews the call for the Province of Manitoba (Province) to engage First Nations on projects to prevent and mitigate flood damage on First Nations’ lands and infrastructure.
“The AMC has urged the Province to expedite the construction of outlet channels to stop the constant flood damage on First Nations, but no action to engage First Nations on projects has been taken so far,” AMC Acting Grand Chief Cornell McLean said. “First Nations are the hardest hit by flooding in this province and are evacuated almost every year, yet we are never meaningfully consulted on flood protection or long-term mitigation actions.”
Yesterday, Manitoba Environment, Climate, and Parks issued a mandatory evacuation order and expanded closure areas in the northern portion of Whiteshell Provincial Park. Manitoba Parks is coordinating with the Emergency Measures Organization and Manitoba Hydro in its preparedness and response.
AMC Acting Grand Chief Cornell McLean said, “The Province acts quickly when it comes to protecting and compensating property and business owners in the communities surrounding First Nations but isn’t as responsive when fulfilling its duty to involve First Nations in planning related to the protection of our lands and territories from flooding.”
According to Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), it has invested $80 million to protect First Nations in Manitoba from flooding and recently renewed a 1-year agreement with the Canadian Red Cross to support Manitoba First Nations in managing responses and evacuations due to flooding.
“The Province must recognize it is essential that First Nations not only support but lead the way in flood recovery and protection on First Nations because we are experiencing immeasurable harms in terms of loss of land, culture, and infrastructure,” AMC Acting Grand Chief Cornell McLean said. “Collaborations regarding outlet channel projects need to start now, and First Nations Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and Citizens must be engaged in any planning that happens,” he said.