Shoal Lake 40 nears completion of Freedom Road
June 11, 2019, Shoal Lake, Ont. - The people of Shoal Lake and other dignitairies celebrated an end to 'isolation' with the dedication of Freedom Road.
The federal, provincial and municipal leaders were in the community to extend congratulations to everyone on the achievement of the all-weather access road.
With generations of planning and lobbying, actual construction of Freedom Road began in March 2017, under a unique, cost-shared arrangement that includes the governments of Canada, Manitoba, Winnipeg and Shoal Lake 40 First Nation. With significant participation of Shoal Lake 40 contractors and workers, construction reached the Trans-Canada Highway in October 2018 and the community was able to begin using the road in December 2018, eliminating the risks of access over water and ice. With a few final touches, the road will be completed later this month.
Freedom Road provides Shoal Lake 40 residents with year-round access to the Trans-Canada Highway, reconnecting the community to Manitoba, ending the costs and dangers of lake travel and unlocking economic opportunities.
"Congratulations to Chief Redsky and Shoal Lake 40 on the very near completion of Freedom Road, which this community has sought and worked so hard for over the years. It is due to their skills, strength, dedication and determination that we are now seeing the conclusion of this important project. Thank you to Chief Redsky and Shoal Lake 40 for giving me the opportunity to celebrate with them today," said the Honourable Seamus O'Regan, P.C., M.P., minister of indigenous services.
With the guidance of the four-government Freedom Road Working Group, the jurisdictionally-complex project is on budget and on schedule–a testament to the success possible through partnerships in Indigenous-led solutions.
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