Village balked at by flooded-out First Nations
Some members of a flooded out First Nation in Manitoba are backing out of plans to move to a temporary village at Gypsumville.
Two families from Lake St. Martin are set to move into the makeshift village — a decommissioned military radar base near Gypsumville off Highway 6 — on Thursday. They are the first ones to make the move.
But others, who were packed and ready to go, have changed their minds after seeing the lease agreement.
Gordon Traverse is one of those who has grown tired of living in a Winnipeg hotel room. It's been 10 months since Lake St. Martin First Nation members were displaced by floods.
He said the lease doesn't mention a promise from the province that once the community is permanently re-located, band members will be able to take their new houses with them.
He's worried if that's not in writing, he may not have a decent home when this lease runs out.
He doesn't want to return to the typical "square little houses" on reserve.
"As long as they can squeeze us in [something like that], I guess we'll have to live in those houses," he said, adding that he wants his children and grandchildren to have better living conditions that what was on Lake St. Martin.
The province stands by its promise to move the homes, but that's conditional on Ottawa's assistance and the federal government says it's too early for such decisions.
The Manitoba government has installed the homes as part of the temporary village while arrangements continue to find a permanent location for the band members.
The old location of Lake St. Martin has been deemed inhabitable due to the extreme flooding and future risks.