Ottawa, Ontario – The Assembly of First Nations has called for immediate action to address a state of emergency in ten northern Manitoba communities after an early spring thaw closed winter roads, preventing the delivery of fuel, food and other critical supplies.

“Ten communities in northern Manitoba are in a state of emergency and have left thousands of people without supplies to meet their basic needs,” said Manitoba regional chief Bill Traverse. “We need to see immediate action to get supplies to these communities as well as a long-term plan to build all-weather roads.”

The regional chiefs have called on both the provincial and federal governments to begin work on climate change adaption strategy and funding to ensure that remote communities that normally rely on winter roads are not left stranded.

States of emergency have been called in Shamattawa, Northlands, Barren Lands, St. Theresa Point, Red Sucker Lake, Garden Hill, Wasagamack, God’s Lake Narrows, Manto Sipi, and Bunibonibee First Nations. A number of transport trucks are currently stuck on the winter road, and the Assembly of First Nations wants to ensure that any additional cost of flying goods will not raise prices or cause additional pressures for people in the communities, who already pay inflated prices for basic goods.

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