Flooding in First Nation communities

Seasonal flooding can put First Nation communities at risk. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s (INAC) regional officials work closely with First Nations at risk of flooding and partners to help ensure emergency preparedness and response plans are in place and fund eligible flood mitigation preparedness and response measures.

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Flood risk by region

Flood risk monitoring and emergency response is managed by the provinces and territories. For more information on flood monitoring in your region, consult the regional organizations listed below.


Prince Edward Island

Nova Scotia

New Brunswick






British Columbia

Northwest Territories



Preparing for a flood

To learn more about preparing for a flood, visit Flood Ready.

Visit Canadian Red Cross’s website for information on how to prepare for emergencies:

Flood preparation measures in First Nation communities

INAC provides funding support for flood preparation and mitigation measures in First Nation communities.


INAC supports emergency preparedness activities for all First Nations in Ontario. INAC also supports flood watch for the Mushkegowuk Tribal Council and the First Nation communities of:

  • Albany
  • Attawapiskat
  • Kashechewan
  • Weenusk
  • Moose Cree
  • Fort Severn

This includes funding for an Emergency Coordinator to work with James Bay First Nations to help them prepare and manage flood responses and other emergencies. In addition, INAC has contracted the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation to work with First Nations to review and update their Emergency Management Plans, train, and test the preparedness of First Nations' staff in plan implementation.

In recent years, INAC has invested in work on the dike valves to prevent flooding within the dike at Kashechewan First Nation.

A study examining flood mitigation options on the Albany River (Far Field Flood Study) is critical to determining a proper community planning strategy. This study is expected to be completed in spring 2017.

INAC continues to work with Kashechewan First Nation to implement an infrastructure investment plan that outlines repairs that are required to ensure that the community’s wastewater and flood protection systems are working effectively.


INAC has made significant investments in permanent measures to protect Manitoba First Nations from flooding. Permanent dikes are in place at 12 Manitoba First Nations:

  • Sioux Valley
  • Opaskwayak
  • Canupawakpa
  • Sandy Bay
  • Ebb and Flow
  • Lake Manitoba
  • O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi
  • Little Saskatchewan
  • Poplar River
  • Berens River
  • Kinonjeoshtegon
  • Roseau River Anishinabe

Temporary dikes were also constructed at Lake St. Martin and Pinaymootang First Nations. These dikes have the potential to be left in place permanently pending the outcome of discussions with the First Nations.

INAC signed a five-year agreement with the Canadian Red Cross, effective April 1, 2017, to support Manitoba First Nations in emergency situations, including managing response and evacuations due to flood, fire and other circumstances. The Red Cross will also work with Manitoba First Nations in preparing the communities for potential emergencies. Under the agreement, INAC has committed $5.6 million over five years for the Canadian Red Cross to provide these services. The Canadian Red Cross is investing an additional $2.9 million to provide emergency resources and personnel support to Manitoba First Nations.

In advance of potential flooding in spring 2017, the department committed approximately $5 million for flood preparation work in 23 First Nations around the province. This includes clearing ditches and culverts, improving water drainage, inspecting dikes and pumps, and reviewing evacuation plans.


INAC has made significant investments to reduce the potential for flooding that threatens residents, houses and infrastructure in Saskatchewan First Nation communities, both now and in future years.

In addition to direct investments in Saskatchewan First Nations, INAC has an arrangement with the province of Saskatchewan to provide emergency response and recovery support to First Nations.


Funded by INAC, the Alberta Bow River Basin Flood Hazard Assessment Project assesses flood hazards for the parts of the Bow River Basin flowing through Tsuut'ina Nation and Stoney Tribe Nations to help the First Nations develop options for flood mitigation.

INAC has a comprehensive emergency management service agreement with the Province of Alberta. The agreement ensures the First Nations are fully integrated into the provincial emergency management system. This includes a direct provincial presence, as required, during emergency events on-reserve that is integrated with the broader Provincial response, as well as preparedness training and emergency planning assistance.

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