Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels Announced

The governments of Canada and Manitoba announced they will cost share up to $540million in new flood management infrastructure for Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channels as Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, announced today.

Federal funding of $247.5 million will be provided for the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels Project, the first project to be funded under the recently launched Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund. Manitoba will provide matching funds in the amount of $247.5 million, plus an additional $45 million in order to complete the project.

“After 60 years of inaction, we are proud to stand today alongside our partners in the federal government to announce this vital project,” says Pallister. “We are focused on completing this project in a timely fashion to better protect Manitobans who have sacrificed so much.”

The governments of Canada and Manitoba identified the channels project as a major priority, due to severe flooding in the area in 2011 and 2014. These disasters resulted in extensive damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure in the province, as well as emergency evacuations, particularly for communities around Lake St. Martin.

“The funding shows that the Government of Canada is taking concrete steps to protect the vulnerable communities around Lake Manitoba, and Lake St. Martin, from disasters like the 2011 and 2014 floods,” says Carr. “Mitigating the effects of natural hazards before they happen is critical to reducing the devastating social, personal and economic costs of recovering after the fact. With investments like these, we will make communities across Canada more resilient to climate change, and ensure residents and businesses can thrive for generations to come.”

During times of flooding and high-water levels on Lake Manitoba, the new outlet channel will carry water directly from Lake Manitoba to Lake St. Martin. The Fairford River is the natural outlet to Lake St. Martin and the new channel will move water directly to Lake Winnipeg.  The Dauphin River is the natural outlet to Lake Winnipeg from Lake St. Martin.

The project consists of building two 23-kilometre-long diversion channels. The Lake Manitoba Outlet Channel will run north from Watchorn Bay on Lake Manitoba to Birch Bay on Lake St. Martin and the Lake St. Martin Outlet Channel will run northeast from Lake St. Martin to Lake Winnipeg south of Willow Point. The project also involves building two bridges and water control structures, a 24-kilovolt distribution line, and adjusting surrounding highway infrastructure.

The project will significantly reduce the flood damage experienced by First Nations located along Lake St. Martin, complementing other regional flood protection infrastructure to ensure a more comprehensive provincial water control network that enables the province to effectively manage flows from the Assiniboine River and Lake Manitoba watersheds spanning Manitoba, southeast Saskatchewan and northeast North Dakota. Together, the channels will allow Manitoba to regulate lake levels and provide flood protection to individuals, businesses, communities and farmland around Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin. Once completed, this work will significantly enhance the region’s ability to regulate water levels on both lakes and protect local Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities from flooding.

The new Lake Manitoba outlet channel is designed with a capacity of 7,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) and the Lake St. Martin channel will carry approximately 11,500 cfs at capacity. The current capacity of the Lake St. Martin Emergency Outlet Channel is approximately 4,000 cfs. The existing single Lake St. Martin emergency channel to Lake Winnipeg will be available on an emergency basis during construction. After the permanent channels are completed, the existing emergency channel will be modified for environmental support purposes, which are still being defined and developed.

The proposed channel alignments are a result of evaluating several options for each channel. Construction of an access road to the Lake St. Martin construction area is underway.  The remainder of construction could start as soon as fall 2019.

The next phase of the Manitoba government’s proposed plans for the construction of the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channels will be presented at a series of open house sessions, Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler announced today.

“These are major flood management projects and will be as essential as the Red River Floodway and the Portage Diversion in provincial flood-fighting efforts,” said Schuler.  “Manitoba is a collection point of major watersheds that start outside of the province but can result in widespread flooding, devastation, costly cleanup and years of restoration.”

Open house topics will include environmental approvals, design and construction, and the next steps in the delivery of this major flood infrastructure project.  There will also be an opportunity to learn more about the operation of the Portage Diversion.  The diversion moves Assiniboine River water north into Lake Manitoba during heavy spring flooding and unusual summer storms

An open house session is planned from 2-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at the Canad Inns in Portage la Prairie on Thursday, June 21.

-Article Courtesy of Portage Online

Youth Enhancement Gathering a Success!

The Social Development Program hosted a Youth Enhancement Gathering March 27 and 28, 2018 bringing together our Interlake Reserves Tribal Council Communities youth on income assistance ages 18 – 30 years old.  Purpose of forum was to promote higher education, entrepreneurship, resume building and training opportunities.

Funding for the program came from First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy Proposal through Indigenous Services Canada.  This funding enabled the program to hire a Youth Coordinator, Nichole Swan from Lake Manitoba First Nation to go to the communities and was also instrumental in working on this forum.

 

The forum was held at Homewood Suites by Hilton, 1295 Ellice Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba,   which was attended by 70 plus youth and we had the privilege of having elders and chaperones take part in the forum.   Presentations and presentation tables from Urban Circle, Red River Community College, SEED Winnipeg, and MC College, Melvin Swan, Retired First Nation Veterans Corporal, Canadian Forces Recruitment, Youth Employment Services, Featherstone, Interlake Regional Health Authority and activities provided for 2 full days of activities.  Master of ceremonies Dave McPherson from Peguis First Nation kept the group entertained and elder Michael West from Lake Manitoba First Nation offered prayers daily.

Interlake Reserves Tribal Council Executive Director, Karl Zadnik provided welcoming remarks and a donation of 2 Winnipeg Jets tickets for the youth prize.   Chief Cornell McLean from Lake Manitoba and Board Chairman offered opening remarks on behalf of Interlake Reserves Tribal Council Chiefs and also provided a donation of prepaid Visas for youth door prizes.   Tables for craft sales were also available.

Youth completed an Evaluation Forum at end of forum.  Feedback from the evaluations was very positive and those in attendance enjoyed the opportunity of attending.   The Evaluations will also be used in planning for future events from the YOUTH themselves.

Pictures of the event are available for viewing.  We look forward to next year based on funding.

MEEGWETCH.

Darlene Bird, Unice Ross and Nichole Swan
Social Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 8, 2018 (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Interlake Reserves Tribal Council is the largest tribal council in Manitoba, with over 17000 members from its six member communities (Lake Manitoba First Nation, Kinonjeoshtegon First Nation, Peguis First Nation, Dauphin River First Nation, Little Saskatchewan First Nation, and Pinaymootang First Nation). They have been in ongoing discussions with the current Provincial government: the PC Party of Manitoba on the proposed Lake St Martin Channel and independent project the access road.

IRTC continue to stand united and together with respect to the construction opportunities with the above mentioned projects.

“Interlake Reserves Tribal Council is pleased to see the progressive and effective relationship with the Province of Manitoba. This current government has awarded our Joint Venture partnership with Sigfusson Northern a contract to work on the access road in our own territorial backyard. One of many future contracts that IRTC and the Joint Venture anticipates. It shows their commitment and support for our Indigenous people that face the highest unemployment rate in Canada and a willingness to listen to us and our needs and responding with action.” Karl Zadnik, Chief Executive Officer of IRTC has shared.

A few of IRTC member communities have faced past flooding that has displaced their people and made them relocate to the City of Winnipeg during 2011 and 2014. Sadly these communities have faced devastating consequences from the past two governments. “During that time the NDP government didn’t engage with our member communities effectively but instead built the emergency channel and used it without our full input. Now that our people are moving back home, we are pleased this current PC government is listening to us through consultation and engagement on the Lake St Martin Channel.

We have advised that we need equal opportunities and participation in the access road project and future Lake St Martin channel work; direct sole sourced contracts for us will ensure we have local jobs and opportunities to build long lasting legacy to address our longstanding issues of unemployment and not having a seat at the construction table. IRTC partnered with Sigfusson Northern strategically to ensure we had full capacity to undertake any project in scale of size and scope of work. IRTC performed its own internal due diligence and competitive process to ensure they had the right partner that would work for us, our member communities and provide the Province of Manitoba with value for their money.” Chief Cornell McLean, current Chairman of IRTC, shared.

Any questions to this press release can be directed to:
Karl Zadnik
Executive Director
Interlake Reserves Tribal Council
Email: karlzadnik@irtc.ca

Chief Cornell McLean
Chairperson
Interlake Reserves Tribal Council
Email: lakembfirstnation@hotmail.com

Merry Christmas

May this Christmas end the present year on a cheerful note and make way for a fresh and bright New Year. Here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

– Interlake Reserves Tribal Council Board of Directors, Management & Staff

Information Session – Kinonjeoshtegon First Nation

INFORMATION SESSION CONCERNING THE PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION PLANS OF THE LAKE MANITOBA AND LAKE ST. MARTIN OUTLET CHANNELS

You are invited to attend an information session hosted by the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council. Representatives from the Government of Manitoba will be in attendance to present the province’s proposed plans for the construction of the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channels and will be available to answer your questions. Topics discussed will include the preliminary details on the channel, environmental considerations and the next steps in delivering this major flood infrastructure project. There will also be an opportunity for attendees to share their concerns about possible effects on areas of importance for land and resource use.

PLACE: Kinonjeoshtegon School, Jackhead, Manitoba
DATE: Wednesday, December 13, 2017
TIME: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Light refreshments will be provided.
For more information please contact:

Seetta Roccola
Land Use Planning/Technical Services Manager
Interlake Reserves Tribal Council
Phone: (204) 956-7413
Email: sroccola@mymts.net or
seettaroccola@irtc.ca

or
Karl Zadnik
Executive Director
Interlake Reserves Tribal Council
Phone: (204) 956-7413
Email:karlzadnik@irtc.ca

DOOR PRIZE: IPAD MINI

Information Session – Pinaymootang First Nation

INFORMATION SESSION CONCERNING THE PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION PLANS OF THE LAKE MANITOBA AND LAKE ST. MARTIN OUTLET CHANNELS

You are invited to attend an information session hosted by the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council. Representatives from the Government of Manitoba will be in attendance to present the province’s proposed plans for the construction of the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channels and will be available to answer your questions. Topics discussed will include the preliminary details on the channel, environmental considerations and the next steps in delivering this major flood infrastructure project. There will also be an opportunity for attendees to share their concerns about possible effects on areas of importance for land and resource use.

PLACE: Pinaymootang Church Hall, Fairford, Manitoba
DATE: Thursday, December 14, 2017
TIME: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Light refreshments will be provided.
For more information please contact:

Seetta Roccola
Land Use Planning/Technical Services Manager
Interlake Reserves Tribal Council
Phone: (204) 956-7413
Email: sroccola@mymts.net or
seettaroccola@irtc.ca

or
Karl Zadnik
Executive Director
Interlake Reserves Tribal Council
Phone: (204) 956-7413
Email:karlzadnik@irtc.ca

DOOR PRIZE: IPAD MINI

IRTC & Sigfusson Northern Ltd sign Joint Venture Agreement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2017 – Winnipeg, Manitoba

The Interlake Reserves Tribal Council (IRTC) has just signed a Joint Venture agreement with Sigfusson Northern Ltd supported by all six Member First Nation communities for future construction project considerations.

“We see this signing as a strategic one with the ability to build further capacity and develop meaningful value added economic development for our communities.” Karl Zadnik, CEO for IRTC

The Chairman, Chief Cornell McLean says “that the Lake St Martin Channel is a project that is currently under consultations with the communities of IRTC, and this $350 Million dollar project is important to have the needed capacity to be competitive. We stand by our original statement that we not only want sole sourced contracts and meaningful consultations. We have not consented to this project; however, we are open to discussions and contract considerations from the Province.”

Wade Pluchinske of Sigfusson Northern states, “Sigfusson Northern is excited at the opportunity to work with IRTC and their member communities on upcoming construction projects. These projects have the ability to provide increased employment, training opportunities and business development for the IRTC communities.”

If you have any questions please contact Karl Zadnik at (204) 956-7413 or
karlzadnik@irtc.ca.

Regards,
INTERLAKE RESERVES TRIBAL COUNCIL BOARD OF DIRECTORS

For Immediate Release – Sept 29

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2017 (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
The Interlake Reserves Tribal Council (IRTC) is deeply saddened by the loss of Evan Caron on September 23, 2017. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this time.
IRTC requests that the media respect the privacy of Evan’s family during their time of profound grief.
The Chiefs of IRTC expect this wish for Evan’s family to be respected and upheld.
Regards,
INTERLAKE RESERVES TRIBAL COUNCIL BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chief Cornell McLean,
Chairman
cc. Chief Glenn Hudson,
Chief Dave Traverse,
Chief Barry Anderson,
Chief Hector Shorting,
Chief John Stagg,
Grand Chief Arlen Dumas,
Grand Chief Jerry Daniels,
Karl Zadnik, CEO IRTC

News Release – Consultation Agreement Signed With Manitoba

MANITOBA AND INTERLAKE RESERVES TRIBAL COUNCIL SIGN CONSULTATION AGREEMENT
– – –
Consultation Process Will
Inform Decision-making on Project:  Clarke
The Manitoba government has formally entered into an agreement with the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council (IRTC) that will allow them to consult, engage and discuss innovative ideas for the proposed Lake Manitoba Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels project, Indigenous and Northern Relations Minister Eileen Clarke announced today.
“Community members hold extensive land and resource-use knowledge within the proposed project area and facilitating robust, comprehensive and respectful consultations is a priority for our government,” said Clarke.  “This exciting consultation arrangement with the IRTC represents another important step forward for our government’s agenda of working together and fostering positive partnerships with Indigenous communities across Manitoba.”
Through the agreement, the IRTC will lead the consultation process through community engagement with their members, which include the Pinaymootang, Little Saskatchewan, Kinonjeoshtegon, Peguis, Lake Manitoba and Dauphin River First Nations.  The consultation process will allow for information sharing and understanding of the proposed project, and will gather perspectives of the IRTC First Nations communities.
“We are pleased this new provincial government is willing to fund these very important traditional knowledge land-use studies for our Interlake Reserves Tribal Council member communities,” said Karl Zadnik, chief executive officer, IRTC.  “In 2011 and in the past, these studies were not completed and we need to ensure our traditional and inherent rights to the land and its use are well documented moving forward.”
“We are hoping the government is going to do what’s right and fulfil their Constitutional duty to consult and we are optimistic that this process will lead to the approval of projects that will be beneficial and respectful to everyone,” Chief Cornell McLean, Lake Manitoba First Nation, and chairman, IRTC.  “We have a very high unemployment rate and it’s important for us to be equal partners here with the proposed Channel Reach 2 and 3 in regards to construction contracts and them being sole sourced.”
Clarke added the Manitoba government is committed to strengthening relationships with Indigenous peoples through meaningful consultation and noted that outcomes resulting from the consultation process will inform decision-making and information sharing in the future.

Our New Website is Launched!

Aneen, Boojoo, Tansi and Welcome to IRTC’s Website!
On behalf of the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council Inc. (IRTC), we welcome you to our official Website.  It is our goal that this site be of benefit to our Member First Nations, aboriginals, and to our non-aboriginal visitors.
We invite you to take a virtual walk through our ‘new’ website.  Learn more about us as we continue to work toward creating sustainable, healthy, and prosperous communities that are grounded in our culture, heritage and respectful of our traditional lands.
We hope you enjoy your visit here and return regularly as we will continually update the IRTC website on a regular basis.
Meegwetch, Ekosi!