Hundreds evacuate as floods hit northern Ontario First Nation

Annual flooding is forcing hundreds of people from the Kashechewan First Nation in northern Ontario to be evacuated from the James Bay community.

A statement from Indigenous Services Canada says that since evacuations began on April 17, community members have been asked to choose whether they would like to be moved to nearby on-land areas, or to other Ontario communities some 400 kilometres south.

It says that 467 people have chosen to be evacuated to on-land areas near the community on the north shore of James Bay’s Albany River, while others have been moved to Timmins, Cochrane or Kapuskasing.

Kashechewan First Nation regularly faces serious annual flooding.

Read more: Ontario First Nations residents evacuated due to expected spring flooding – May 2022

A state of emergency was declared for the community on April 3.

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In 2019, Indigenous Services Canada, the Province of Ontario and the Kashechewan First Nation reached a framework agreement on permanently relocating the community to higher ground, but those plans are still being finalized.

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