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Flooding claim settled

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Ontario and Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation have settled a century-old flooding claim that will help build a new relationship between the province and the community while strengthening the local economy and creating jobs.

The claim was settled through a collaborative and co-operative process between the First Nation and Ontario.

It was rooted in the construction of a provincially-approved dam without the First Nation’s consent in 1897.

The dam was constructed in 1912 for power generation, causing lake levels to rise and flood almost 20 percent of the reserve along the shorelines.

Negotiated settlements will help rebuild relationships, and create economic opportunity for aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities alike.

Under the settlement, Ontario will pay $27 million in financial compensation for past and ongoing flooding of the shoreline of Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation reserve lands.

The First Nation, located near Dryden, has roughly 590 members.

Ontario accepted the Wabigoon flooding claim for negotiation in February, 2002.

The province remains committed to achieving land claim settlements with First Nations.

Some 31 claims have been settled since 1983.

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