Peguis First Nation Flooding – Chronology of Events

July 1 to 5, 2010 – Heavy rain and wind event in the Interlake Region of Manitoba damages approximately 300 homes on-reserve, washes out several road crossings and leads to the evacuation of Peguis First Nation's 250 residents. Most residents are temporarily relocated to Winnipeg and a few near Fish River Cree Nation.

In response to requests for emergency response assistance from the community, AANDC is in contact with Peguis emergency coordination officials (including elected officials) and Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) to deploy provincial resources in support of local response efforts. Evacuations are coordinated by the Manitoba Association of Native Fire Fighters (MANFF), and financially supported by AANDC.

July 5, 2010 – A conference call takes place between AANDC, the province of Manitoba, Peguis First Nation and Red Cross officials.  The team outlines plans to identify disaster recovery needs and coordinate assistance. 

July 1 to 15, 2010 – AANDC officials are in regular contact with elected officials from the First Nation by phone before travelling to Peguis on July 15.

July 6, 2010 – Chief Glenn Hudson of Peguis First Nation sends a letter to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development stating that Peguis First Nation is in a state of emergency due to overland flooding.

July 15, 2010 – AANDC Manitoba Region's Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC) travels with staff from the Manitoba EMO to Peguis First Nation. They tour flood damage, review eligibility rules on disaster financial assistance, and discuss the recovery priorities of the community. The Red Cross indicates they have provided 266 clean-up kits to the First Nation.

July 19, 2010 – Re-entry is cleared for Peguis First Nation members, and the majority of evacuees return to the community.

July 20, 2010 – A commitment is made by the federal government to provide flood protection for the 75 most vulnerable homes at Peguis First Nation. This includes:

  • An assessment on a site-by-site basis to identify the best approach for flood protection for each of the affected homes. The options include diking, elevating homes onto pads or relocating homes.
  • Consultation with residents in homes directly affected by flooding, along with the community as a whole.

AANDC makes arrangements for Peguis First Nation to engage a consultant to review mitigation options, develop a detailed plan for flood protection, and to consult with residents and the community as a whole on the proposed plan for flood protection.

The Province of Manitoba announces that up to $15 million will be made available for a disaster financial assistance program for areas affected by major storms that caused extensive spring and summer flooding, including Peguis First Nation. The Government of Canada will reimburse Manitoba the full amount of losses eligible under the provincial Disaster Financial Assistance guidelines provided to First Nations. 

July 22, 2010 – A meeting is held between AANDC officials, senior officials from the province of Manitoba and Councillor Glen Cochrane of Peguis First Nation. Discussions are held on the next steps for defining the scope of work for the consultant, and the funding arrangements required for Peguis First Nation to engage a consultant to develop a flood mitigation plan. 

August 3, 2010 – AANDC Manitoba Region's EMC is informed that although Peguis First Nation had planned for all evacuees to be home by the beginning of August, some are unable to return home and assistance must be extended. Accommodation for evacuees is provided by the Manitoba Association of Native Fire Fighters (MANFF). After reviewing their work plan, the EMC indicates AANDC will continue to support these costs.

In Ottawa, senior AANDC officials meet with the Minister of Public Safety, and the Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities, to discuss the issue of chronic flooding of the Peguis First Nation.

August 23, 2010 – AANDC Project Manager meets with Chief Glenn Hudson and consultant AECOM (Architecture, Engineering, Consulting, Operations and Management), Peguis First Nation's consulting engineer. The First Nation requests that the scope of work for AECOM be expanded to identify the 75 highest priority homes. AANDC agrees to this change.

August 27, 2010 – The Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba announce $29.7 million for stronger flood protection in the province. The announcement references AANDC moving ahead with identifying 75 homes for protection or relocation on Peguis First Nation and continuing to look at more permanent protection for the future in conjunction with Peguis First Nation and the Province.

October 14 – AANDC Manitoba Region's EMC meets with Peguis First Nation to review progress and priorities with respect to recovery and mitigation. As of October 2010, the federal government has committed $1.6 million toward response and recovery costs and to develop detailed flood protection options for 75 homes. Of this amount, $600,000 has been provided to the First Nation and the remainder is to be delivered before the end of the year.

November 20, 2010 – AANDC provides Peguis First Nation with an additional $1 million toward response and recovery costs related to the flooding. This brings the total of AANDC emergency management assistance to $2.6

December 2, 2010AECOM is still working on identifying 75 homes for protection and relocation on Peguis First Nation.

February 7- 9, 2011 – AANDC officials meet with representatives of the First Nation to discuss next steps and the immediate issue of how to control mould in the 75 homes damaged by flooding.

April 1, 2011 - AANDC provides advance of $200,000 to Peguis First Nation for initial flood-related preparedness activities.

March – April, 2011 - AANDC commits up to $9.4 million to flood protection measures for Peguis such as preparing sandbags, clearing 90 drainage culverts, installing wavebreaker sandbags and constructing sandbag dikes.

April 12, 2011 - Peguis First Nation declares a state of emergency due to the threat of flooding.

April 13, 2011 - Peguis First Nation members deemed at risk are evacuated due to spring 2011 flooding.

March – April, 2011 - Manholes at Peguis First Nation are raised to 150 millimetres above the flood level for a one-in-100-year event to protect homes on-reserve from potential sewer back ups due to flooding.

June 10, 2011 - The Minister of AANDC appoints Sid Dutchak as Ministerial Special Representative for the Fairford River water control structure file. Peguis flooding issues, though not part of this file, are included in his duties. Mr. Dutchak's role is to meet with the Province of Manitoba and First Nation communities on immediate to medium term matters related to the flood emergency.

September 9, 2011 - Peguis chief and council and AANDC agree that a multi-year plan would assist in providing the First Nation with a stable and predictable schedule for addressing flood vulnerabilities. Peguis First Nation undertakes to develop a five-year plan to address flood vulnerable homes.

September 21, 2011 - AANDC receives a Statement of Claim by Peguis First Nation submitted to the Attorney General of Canada, the Government of Manitoba and Manitoba Hydro related to flooding on reserve. Ongoing flood protection efforts continue.

December 16, 2011 - The Minister of AANDC announces that Sid Dutchak will continue to work with the Province and Manitoba First Nations as Chief Federal Representative on issues related to flooding.

February 1, 2012 – AANDC provides $3.5 million towards protecting or relocating 75 flood vulnerable homes at Peguis. This is in addition to the $9.4 million already committed towards flood protection measures.

February 1, 2012 - AANDC provides Peguis First Nation with an additional $500,000 for the construction of a new sub-division to accommodate new homes.

October 2012 - With the approximately $4 million in investments previously announced, nine new homes are purchased for Peguis First Nation and work is complete on mould remediation and repairs to 61 homes, the raising of 10 homes and the establishment of a new sub-division, including water and sewer servicing for the new homes.

March 26, 2013 - The Province of Manitoba issues an updated flood forecast which includes a moderate to very high flood risk for Peguis First Nation. AANDC commits to advancing $2.6 million to Peguis First Nation for spring 2013 flood preparedness based on a detailed work plan provided by the First Nation.

April 1, 2013 - AANDC commits to advancing an additional $200,000 to Peguis First Nation, bringing the total to $2.8 million for spring 2013 flood preparedness.

April 10, 2013 - AANDC commits to advancing an additional $100,000 to Peguis First Nation for sandbagging, bringing the total to $2.9 million for spring 2013 flood preparedness.