City to Host Evacuees from Neskantaga First Nation

Posted On Thursday October 22, 2020

Neskantaga First Nation has self-evacuated approximately 233 people to Thunder Bay after an unknown sheen in the water reservoir forced the shutdown of the community’s water system.

The Provincial Emergency Operations Centre has requested that Thunder Bay serve as a host community for the First Nation’s vulnerable population, including children, elders and families that have already evacuated to Thunder Bay.

Neskantaga First Nation is a fly-in community located approximately 560 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, and has a population of approximately 300. The First Nation declared an emergency on Oct. 20.

"Thunder Bay’s Municipal Emergency Control Group met today, and we have agreed to be a host community and are willing to help,” said Mayor Bill Mauro. “Our decision to be a host community is based on the fact that at this time we have the necessary resources to meet the needs of our community and the evacuees.”

Neskantaga’s planning efforts have resulted in a number of infection prevention and control measures, contingencies and mitigations, following recent and current guidance and orders to mitigate any COVID-19 concerns. 

“All precautions are being taken to protect the health and safety for everyone involved,” said Norm Gale, City Manager.

The local coordinating team including the City of Thunder Bay, Police, Fire & Rescue, Superior North EMS, Emergency Management Ontario and Canadian Red Cross, will continue to meet to make necessary arrangements. 


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Contact:       Greg Hankkio, Acting Fire Chief – Thunder Bay Fire Rescue, 625-2102

                     Stacey Levanen, Public Information Officer - MECG, 625-3650           

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