‘A very special day’: Shoal Lake 40 celebrates Freedom Road construction

June 30, CTV News:

A celebration was held in Shoal Lake 40 First Nation Friday to mark the beginning of construction of a new all-weather road.

The 24 kilometre Freedom Road will connect Shoal Lake 40 to the Trans-Canada Highway in Manitoba.It will provide year-round access between the mainland and the isolated community, which is located in northwestern Ontario just east of the Manitoba-Ontario border.

“This is a very special day today,” Shoal Lake 40 Chief Erwin Redsky told a crowd of around 50 people gathered inside the community’s arena. “It’s been a long, long journey to get to this point.”

The community was cut off from the mainland more than a century ago during construction of an aqueduct that supplies Winnipeg with drinking water. Shoal Lake 40 has been under a boil-water advisory for 20 years. Once the road is built, a water treatment plant will be the community’s next big project. Read more.