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This article was published 13/10/2019 (410 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Several Manitoba First Nations have declared a state of emergency and have ordered evacuations of their communities because they have no power.

They include the six First Nations of the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council: Peguis, Dauphin River, Lake Manitoba, Little Saskatchewan, Jackhead and Pinaymootang.

Crane River and Dakota Tipi, which is just south of Portage, have also declared states of emergency.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs said the Manitoba government had declared a state of emergency for Manitoba Hydro only, and the assembly called that unacceptable.

"The policies of Indigenous Services Canada and the province to evacuate our people ... after the 72-hour mark is unacceptable," said Grand Chief Arlen Dumas in a release.

He said the policy may work in urban centres, but it is not appropriate for remote areas.

"People have been without heat and water for days, including babies and children. We need to get them help immediately," Dumas said.

The assembly said the Red Cross had started evacuating vulnerable people and was setting up a temporary warming shelter at the convention centre in downtown Winnipeg.

The Red Cross said most people affected by the storm are expected to stay with relatives and friends who have electricity.

While the Red Cross encouraged people to stay in their home communities, the agency decided to set up the shelter in the event local First Nations leadership ordered an evacuation.

The Winnipeg shelter will be open only to those who register with the Red Cross, by going to the Holiday Inn Express on Ellice Avenue.

The downtown shelter is "required because of the potential numer of evacuees and because of a lack of available hotel rooms in the city," the Red Cross said.

Several fly-in communities have been without power, including Berens River and Pauingassi.

Indigenous officials and leadership were to meet late Sunday afternoon to discuss the situation.