The Government of Canada and Shoal Lake No. 40 First Nation Move Forward with Construction of Freedom Road

SHOAL LAKE NO. 40, ON, June 30, 2017 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is committed to improving the quality of life for Indigenous peoples in Canada. Shoal Lake No. 40 First Nation's Freedom Road will provide permanent all-weather road access that will increase community safety and mobility and unlock economic opportunities.

Today, Chief Erwin Redsky of Shoal Lake No. 40 First Nation and the Honourable Bob Nault, on behalf of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, announced that construction has begun on the on-reserve portion of Freedom Road. The Government of Canada has committed up to $20 million for all phases of the Freedom Road project.

Once finished, Freedom Road will provide secure, all-weather road access for Shoal Lake No. 40's 287 residents from the First Nation to the Trans-Canada Highway, dramatically improving community well-being, allowing unrestricted access to essential goods and services and restoring economic opportunities for residents.


"Our Government is fully committed to supporting Shoal Lake No. 40 First Nation in the construction of Freedom Road. Today's announcement will drastically improve the well-being of community members, allowing them to benefit from medical services, social programming, and other necessities of life. Congratulations to Chief Redsky on this major initiative to put in place a year-round unrestricted access to Shoal Lake No. 40 First Nation. We should take every opportunity to expedite Freedom Road as it is a long overdue step toward unlocking economic opportunities for the community and advancing reconciliation."

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

"I am pleased to celebrate this major milestone with Shoal Lake No. 40 First Nation today. The construction of Freedom Road will have a profound impact on the community, as it will provide residents access to crucial medical and social services, while also affording them the opportunity to fully participate in the local economy. The Government's investment in this project reflects its commitment to advancing reconciliation."

The Honourable Robert D. "Bob" Nault, P.C., M.P.

 "Secure access is life and death for our community so everyone is celebrating that we're actually beginning construction of Freedom Road. We thank Minister Bennett and INAC staff for working with us on creative solutions in our unique and complex circumstances.  With the support of INAC, we look forward to continuing the work with our partners, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg, to complete the road's construction to the highway and to realize the economic opportunities anticipated under our Tripartite Agreement."

Chief Erwin Redsky
Shoal Lake No. 40 First Nation

Quick Facts

  • Shoal Lake No. 40 First Nation straddles the Ontario-Manitoba border 55 km west of Kenora and a short distance south of the TransCanada Highway.
  • The total estimated cost of the Freedom Road project is $40 million. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) is contributing up to $20 million, with the Province of Manitoba and City of Winnipeg each contributing up to $10 million.
  • INAC is providing $7.3 million to cover all costs related to Phase I of the project.

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SOURCE Government of Canada

For further information: media may contact: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 613-697-8316; INAC Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160; Cuyler Cotton, Media Relations, Shoal Lake No. 40 First Nation, 807 467-1492

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