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Province pegs $100M for flood settlement package for First Nations

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Lake St. Martin during the 2011 flood.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Enlarge Image

Lake St. Martin during the 2011 flood. Photo Store

The Manitoba government says it has set aside $100 million this year towards a settlement package that will address "all past and future claims" involving four First Nations hit by the 2011 flood.

The government said in a news release that the money will help those displaced by the flood to return to "safer, better-protected communities."

The four First Nations — Lake St. Martin, Little Saskatchewan, Dauphin River and Pinaymootang — are all downstream of the Fairford River Water Control Structure.

"The negotiating framework for final settlement packages outlines flood mitigation measures, replacement lands and compensation for damages and infrastructure," the government said in a press release.

According to federal figures, 1,888 First Nation residents are still displaced by the 2011 flood. More than 1,600 are from the four communities.

Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson said many area families have had to endure decades of chronic flooding. He called the money "an important first step forward in ensuring they are able to return to homes that are safe from the threat of future flooding as we seek a fair resolution of historical claims for flooding dating back to the construction of the Fairford control structure in 1961."

Robinson said Ottawa has made a corresponding commitment to addressing issues related to the operation of the Fairford River Water Control Structure.

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