Manitoba First Nations can’t wait for formal emergency relief: Southern Chiefs

Grand Chief Jerry Daniels.
Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. Southern Chiefs Organization

Some Manitoba First Nations communities aren’t willing to wait for the province to declare a formal state of emergency.

Manitoba was hit hard by a record-breaking storm that began Thursday, leaving tens of thousands of Manitobans without power, even days later.

READ MORE: Manitoba Premier preparing to declare state of emergency after snow storm

The Southern Chiefs Organization (SCO), which said Sunday that it’s imploring Indigenous Services Canada to respond to the needs of these communities immediately, without waiting the standard 72 hours.

“Not everyone lives in a major city like Winnipeg or Brandon, so there need to be appropriate measures and policies in place to help the people who need it most in a weather crisis,” said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels.

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“People’s crucial supplies are running out, and it is irresponsible to allow such a timeline rule to prevent public aid from being dispersed when it is needed.

“Canada has to do better.”

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READ MORE: Thousands of Manitobans without power cope with difficult conditions after storm

The Interlake Reserves Tribal Council has declared its own state of emergency in Kinonjeoshtegon, Lake Manitoba, Pinaymootang, Peguis, Dauphin River, and Little Saskatchewan First Nations.

“Our communities are vulnerable in natural disasters such as these,” said tribal council chairman Cornell McLean.

“Our tribal council and member communities have led these emergency management developments for years and we have determined this as the time to declare.”

Manitoba premier to declare state of emergency following snow storm
Manitoba premier to declare state of emergency following snow storm