Worst flooding Peguis First Nation community has seen

Chiefs want permanent flood protection for Peguis First Nation after what they are calling the worst flooding event in the community's history. As Mark Neufeld reports, the 1907 forced relocation of the community has played a major role in flooding

It’s the worst flooding the Peguis Frist Nation has seen, but could it have been avoided?

According to several studies done over the years, the community identified many options to address the reoccurring flooding issue.

“The lack of proper permanent infrastructure to protect Peguis from recurring flooding constitutes nothing less than systemic racism,” stated William Sutherland, Emergency Management lead for Peguis. “How else could this double-standard exist when it comes to the flood protection of First Nation communities versus non-Indigenous communities, and the lack of funding to replace the homes of hundreds of Peguis flood evacuees?”

But according to Peguis Chief Glenn Hudson, the suggestions made to the provincial and federal governments were ignored.

“Due to chronic underfunding of infrastructure, including flood prevention measures by governments, flooding episodes never end for Peguis,” concluded Chief Hudson. “Most of the houses are never re-built as a result of underfunding, and so many members can never come back to live in their community among their people. That is why I call these members “refugees”, not evacuees. I don’t think it’s reasonable to call someone an ‘evacuee’ in a context where that person is away from home for more than a decade.”


Hudson, along with Grand Chief Jerry Daniels are calling on both governments to sort out differences and focus on flood prevention as many in the community have been displaced over the past few weeks following the Colorado Low and additional flooding.

“Peguis citizens have been caught in the middle of disputes between the federal and provincial governments for many generations, and now it’s time to work together and focus on solutions to build permanent flood infrastructure, similar to what exists in non-Indigenous communities across this province,” said Chief Hudson.

“Beyond the loss of hundreds of homes and the many lives disrupted, this annual crisis continues to cause deep trauma to hundreds of Peguis families,” said Southern Chiefs’ Organization Grand Chief Daniels. “This only adds to the trauma First Nation people have already suffered as Survivors of colonial policies, including residential schools. We need to move forward together to address this injustice.”

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