Plan finalized to move Kashechewan First Nation
CTV Northern Ontario
Published Thursday, May 9, 2019 11:59AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 10, 2019 3:20PM EDT
The relocation of Kashechewan First Nation is a step closer to reality Thursday.
There's now a government financed plan to move the community to safer ground.
Kashechewan First Nation Chief Leo Friday is in Toronto May 9 and has signed a ‘relocation implementation plan’ with the provincial and federal governments.
The agreement will see the community of 2,500 moved off the Albany River flood plain to a safer area.
“This agreement is about the fight to get what you want and to achieve the prize. I feel optimistic today in signing this agreement. There will be challenges, but our future generations will be able to enjoy the spirit of the land.” said Friday.
Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald says the agreement shows how strong the commitment from the two governments is.
“The best thing about what’s being signed today is that there is a plan. There’s an actual document that shows all the steps that are going to happen. Where as in the past, agreements have been signed, but there was never a clear plan.” said Archibald.
Seamus O'Regan is the federal Indigenous services minister.
"I know you may have seen an agreement before, but now we have a plan, a real plan, agreed upon by everybody here. Agreed upon by Chief Friday and his leadership team who worked so hard for you." said O'Regan.
The people in Kashechewan have been evacuated to Timmins, Kapuskasing, and other communities every spring for the last few years due to flooding. The annual evacuation has been costing Ottawa $20-million each year.