Shoal Lake Freedom Road

Musician Steve Bell has written the following letter to Rupert’s Land News, calling for Anglicans to get involved in the push for a road and bridge to Shoal Lake:

Shoal Lake is the First Nations community that was displaced 100 years ago so Winnipeg could build an aqueduct for our city’s water supply. The community has been virtually marooned on an island ever since, with no bridge to the mainland and no road to the Trans Canada Highway, only 28 kms away. Development, health, safety, and a myriad other concerns have been jeopardized.
Because the lake has become depleted, measures have been taken to replenish the water supply
Empty 20 litre water bottles sit outside Laura Green's house waiting for pickup and refilling Wednesday, February 25, 2015. The Shoal Lake community, despite supplying water to the city of Winnipeg, is under a boil water advisory and lacks year round road access. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
The Shoal Lake community, despite supplying water to the city of Winnipeg, is under a boil water advisory and lacks year round road access. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

from other lakes. The unintended consequence of this is that the lake has become dangerously polluted. Winnipeg has built a water treatment plant for itself, but the community of Shoal Lake has been on a boil-water advisory for 18 years. 
Recently, a plan was put forward for the City of Winnipeg, the Province of Manitoba, and the federal government to partner together to build a road and bridge, shared cost of which would be $30 million. Last week, the City  and the Province committed, but the federal government refused. It was brutal to watch members of the community, elder to child, huddle and cry upon hearing the news. 
We’ve started a petition to put pressure on the federal government to pay their share of the road and bridge. In only a few days, it has received over 5000 names. 
Now a group of us have formed “Churches For Freedom Road to mobilize our own communities to join in on the call for justice for Shoal Lake 40. One action we want to accomplish in the next month is to get churches across the City and Province to use their signage in support of Shoal Lake. We’ll collect photos of all the signs and create a large collage poster using the photos and with  the words: Churches For Freedom Road #Shoalidarity. We will print the poster, put them up all over the city, and also, and most importantly, send one to each member of Parliament.
Join us!
Peace,
Steve Bell
Listen to the song Steve has written about Shoal Lake here:Freedom Road

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