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Hopeful Story, August 23, 2015

  Have you noticed what our electronic sign says? “We support Shoal Lake 40 Freedom Road”. What on earth is that?
  Steve Bell, Christian singer and songwriter from Winnipeg (remember his concert here 2 years ago?) asked churches to post this sign a few weeks back because “Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, located in Treaty 3 territory on the Manitoba-Ontario border, was effectively isolated 100 years ago when their lands were expropriated so that an aqueduct could be built to supply Winnipeg with water. Diverting water from Falcon Lake, the digging of a canal across the peninsula turned Shoal Lake 40 land into an island, and they’ve been without a bridge or road to the Trans Canada Highway since.”
  Though Winnipeg has a state-of-the-art water facility, Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, which draws its water from the same lake, has had a boil water advisory for 18 years! “The First Nation currently spends about $130,000 annually to supply bottled water to its approximate 275 members . Their only means of leaving the reserve is by ferry, which is prone to break down regularly. The construction of an all-weather road, coined “Freedom Road” by the community, connecting the First Nation with the nearby TransCanada Highway, will not only facilitate economic development but enable the building of a water-treatment plant on reserve.” 
  Putting up a sign as a show of support seems like a very small thing to do. To date, 49 churches (2 in Ontario) have posted signs and submitted pictures to Churches for Freedom Road. These pictures will be made into a poster and sent to each member of parliament. Currently the city of Winnipeg and the province of Manitoba have promised to pay for 1/3 of the road, but the Federal Government is not making any commitment.
  There are ways you can help out—you can sign the petition, you can help with the cost of building the road and you can contact the Prime Minister to let him know of your concern. Check out for details.
  And, finally, give thanks for the clean water we use and take for granted every day!
- Evelyn