Lac Seul First Nation

Lac Seul First Nation

July 12, 2011 05:00 ET

Ongoing and Unmitigated Erosion Exposes More Gravesites at Lac Seul First Nation

LAC SEUL FIRST NATION, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 12, 2011) - In early June, multiple gravesites dating back to the earliest days of the Lac Seul reserve were exposed by ongoing and unmitigated erosion of the shorelines.

"Erosion of the banks along the reservoir is one of the biggest concerns facing the First Nation," stated Chief Clifford Bull. "The subject of erosion is a major part of our legal claim against Canada, as is the desecration of our ancestors' graves that comes as a result of that erosion."

Lac Seul, originally a network of lakes and rivers, is now a reservoir that is controlled by the Ear Falls Dam through operational orders issued by Lake of the Woods Control Board. The present levels of the Lac Seul reservoir are far greater than was found in the natural environment, which flooded an estimated 16,000 hectares of reserve land without the prior and informed consent of the Lac Seul First Nation, and raised the shorelines well above the natural water beds. Numerous gravesites have been exposed by the erosion of the modern shorelines of the Lac Seul reservoir over the past 80 years, both on- and off reserve. "Each time a new gravesite falls into the lake, we again feel the injustice of the flooding. These are our people, and we do what is necessary to re-inter them in a respectful way," continued Chief Bull.

Lac Seul is located approximately 38 km northwest of Sioux Lookout. Lac Seul First Nation has a large base, which is bounded to the north and east by the Lac Seul reservoir, and is comprised of four on-reserve communities: Kejick Bay, Canoe River, Whitefish Bay, and Frenchman's Head. Lac Seul First Nation is the oldest First Nation in the Sioux Lookout District of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (formerly Indian and Northern Affairs Canada). The reserve was established pursuant to Treaty 3, through adhesion in 1874.

Contact Information