Manitoba First Nation declares state of emergency over flooding-related health crisis – The Globe and Mail

A Manitoba First Nation has declared a state of emergency in response to a health crisis caused by repeated flooding.

Peguis First Nation says it has endured persistent flooding over the years that has caused heavy damage to infrastructure and housing.

It says the community has seen significant rates of emotional distress and mental health disorders among children and adults, with a rise in self-harm among youth, drug addiction and incidents of domestic violence.

The First Nation recently filed a lawsuit alleging the federal and Manitoba governments failed to protect the community from the frequent flooding.

It also alleges two nearby municipalities diverted water from their areas to improve drainage, but in a way that added to flooding on the reserve’s land.

Chief Stan Bird says the $1-billion lawsuit shows their determination to fight for their rights and to secure the necessary resources for the community.

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