Sol Mamakwa MPP, Kiiwetinoong

Government of Ontario

NDP call on Ford government to respect treaty and help people of Kashechewan

Published on April 18, 2019

Community evacuated every year due to flooding

QUEEN’S PARK – During question period Thursday, NDP MPPs Guy Bourgouin and Sol Mamakwa called on Doug Ford to help the First Nations community of Kashechewan, which is again under a state of emergency and is again being evacuated.

“This evacuation involves 2,500 people, including children and elders, who will be relocated to Timmins, Kapuskasing, Cornwall and Thunder Bay,” said Bourgouin, MPP for Mushkegowuk-James Bay. “Just imagine your family being moved every spring, having to leave everything behind and living far away from home for months every year.

“When will you listen to the people of Kashechewan and work with them to create solutions?”

Mamakwa, the NDP’s critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, reminded the Ford government that the people of Kashechewan are the beneficiaries of Treaty 9.

“Their ancestors signed the treaty with Ontario to share the land,” said Mamakwa. “But this government does not seem to be interested in sharing by holding up their end of the treaty.

“The people of Kashechewan suffer from these ongoing relocations.

“The trauma caused by these relocations and seeing their homes destroyed by flooding over and over again would not be acceptable anywhere else.

“Chief Friday will be at Queen’s Park on April 29. Are you willing to listen to the Chief, yes or no?”

Ontario is a signatory of the March 31, 2017 Tripartite Framework Agreement that committed both the province and the federal government to “address the short-, mid-, and long-term challenges” Kashechewan First Nation faces, including the relocation of the community to higher and drier ground.