Flooding Hope and Livelihoods: Lake St. Martin First Nation


  • Myrle Ballard University of Manitoba
  • Shirley Thompson University of Manitoba




Flooding, Displacement, Community development, Sustainable livelihoods, Indigenous, First Nation, Relocation / Inondation, Déplacement, Développement communautaire, Travail durable, Autochtone, Première Nation, Relocalisation



Lake St. Martin First Nation, a community situated in the Interlake Region of Manitoba, was permanently displaced in 2011. After they were flooded out of their ancestral lands and left homeless, the Province of Manitoba further disempowered the members of the community by refusing to listen to their preference for a new site. That a nearby Cold War radar base was selected by the Province as an interim location, against the wishes of the community, further victimized the members and left them in limbo. This article, incorporating both Indigenous and Western methodologies, examines the consequences of community displacement on sustainable livelihoods, homes, health, and sociocultural integrity in the Lake St. Martin First Nation.


La Première Nation de Lac St-Martin, une communauté autochtone de la région Entre-les-Lacs au Manitoba, a été déplacée en permanence en 2011. Une inondation a couvert ses terres ancestrales et a laissé ses membres sans domicile. Le gouvernement manitobain a diminué encore plus le pouvoir de ceux-ci en refusant de tenir compte de leurs préférences pour un nouveau site. Il a exacerbé leur statut de victime en choisissant un emplacement intérimaire contre leur gré – une ancienne base radar à proximité utilisée pendant la Guerre froide – les laissant ainsi dans une situation incertaine. Cet article, recourant à des méthodologies autochtones et occidentales, examine les conséquences du déplacement de cette communauté sur le travail, le logement, la santé et l’intégrité socioculturelle de ses membres.


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