UPDATED – Fort Severn Winter Road Barricaded

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Image supplied by a NetNewsLedger "Newshawk"

THUNDER BAY – UPDATED – Officials with the Indigenous Affairs Ontario Ministry tell NetNewsLedger that the blockaded road is now open. “Confirmed that the blockade has come down. Our Ministry officials are in touch with the communities”.

NetNewsLedger is told that the dispute arose from Shamattawa not fulfilling their contractual obligations but still demanding payment in full from last year.  Because of this Fort Severn opted to construct the full 326km of the winter road that it is responsible for.
The cost of each truck on the winter road under the proposal put forward from Shamattawa would be $2500 as a toll road. In an average year, there are 65 trucks making the journey to Fort Severn First Nation. In years when the community is doing special projects, the number of trucks on the ice road increase.
Paying the $250k according to a source would hinder Fort Severn First Nation from repairing, maintenance and the purchase of new vehicles to support road work.
It would also put Fort Severn into debt in the amount from #38k to $42k every year. This would be the cost of by giving in to the demands of SFN Chief and Council.
A figure a source tells NNL which may change from year to year.

Earlier: Residents in Fort Severn Ontario are expressing concern over a barricade on the winter road impacting travel on the winter ice road for the community.

This snow barricade has prevented traffic from using the road. One of the routes many in Fort Severn, the furthest North community in Ontario use takes them to Thompson Manitoba.

Sources tell NetNewsLedger that Shamattawa First Nation has blocked the road and is demanding $250,000 from Fort Severn.

Shamattawa is a community in  Northern Manitoba. Shamattawa First Nation is located at 55°51′30″N 92°05′46″W. The community is on the banks of the Gods River where the Echoing River joins as a right tributary.

Shamattawa is a remote, isolated community, only connected to the rest of the province by winter and ice roads. Winter roads also extend east of the community towards Fort Severn, Ontario, and Peawanuck, Ontario.

Sources tell NNL that the issue has left Winter Road travellers very concerned as it is a long trip to where the barricade is located. There are concerns from people from Fort Severn are not welcome in Shamattawa for supplies including fuel.

A spokesperson for Minister Greg Rickford says to NetNewsLedger, “We are in touch with the communities along the road to understand the situation and determine how the government can best assist. We encourage all parties involved to engage in respectful dialogue aimed at resolving this situation.”

Details are not fully in on this developing report. NetNewsLedger will keep you up to date as facts come in.

NetNewsLedger has contacted the Band Office at Shamattawa for comment but has not been able to reach anyone official as yet.