All Season Road Announcement for Slate Falls First Nation

A partnership comprising the Federal and Ontario governments, Mckenzie Forest Products and the Slate Falls First Nation will jointly invest $8.4 million in the construction of a new permanent, all-season road linking the First Nation to the existing road system.

An announcement was made on January 21, 2003 in Sioux Lookout by the Honourable Robert D. Nault, federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Mines, the Honourable Jim Wilson, Ontario Minister of Northern Development and Mines, company and First Nation officials.  All parties then travelled to Slate Falls to make the announcement to the excited community members and celebrated with a feast.

In a first ever partnership to expand all-weather roads into remote areas, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) is investing $2.5 million in the construction of a 50.7km all-weather road that will link the community to the Vermillion River Road which connects to Hwy. 516 Northeast of Sioux Lookout.  

The Ernie Eves government, through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, is also contributing $2.5 million to the project.  Funding is being provided through the NOHFC's recently announced Far North Assistance Program which encourages the upgrading and development of infrastructure to support economic growth, and improve the quality of life for it's residents.

Other Partners in the project  are Mckenzie Forest Products, which is investing $3.4 million in it's share of the construction project, and the Slate Falls First Nation, which will manage the construction project.

Construction is expected to start in the spring of 2003 and is expected to be completed before the end of March 2005.  Slate Falls is located on the western shore of Bamaji Lake, approximately 140 km north of Sioux Lookout, Ontario.  The community, with a population of approximately 200 residents, is accessible primarily by air transport year-round, and by winter road during the coldest winter months.  

There are no pictures yet, but we will have some later!

For more information, contact: