Shoal Lake 40 First Nation is an Ojibwa or Ontario Saulteaux First Nation located in the Eastman Region of Manitoba and the Kenora District of Ontario. The total registered population in August 2011 was 568, of which the on-reserve population was 266.The first Nation is a member of the Grand Council of Treaty 3.


In 1919, the aqueduct to carry clean lake water directly into Winnipeg was finished. It is built over an old native burial ground. Between 1912-1919, the original Ojibwa village, located at the mouth of the Falcon River at Shoal Lake, was displaced and moved to a man-made island. A parcel of the band’s traditional land, 3,000 acres, became City of Winnipeg property and split the reserve into three separate parcels.

Ottawa selected a peninsula across the lake from the old village as the site of the Shoal Lake 40 reserve.

Government officials ordered the diversion canal to be dug across nearby narrows, effectively creating an island and isolating the reserve.

“Here we have a southern band that’s living in a northern isolated situation,” said former City of Winnipeg councillor and former Wolseley MLA Harold Taylor, now general manager of East-Regional Development. Taylor is helping to broker an alliance between the RM of Reynolds and Shoal Lake. He described the history of Shoal Lake as “shocking.” Sources: Shoal Lake’s Man-Made Island Power Point presentation; the Manitoba Historical Society website; the tripartite and parallel agreements


WHO: The city, province and Shoal Lake 40, and also Ottawa through a parallel but separate agreement with Shoal Lake 40.

WHAT: Not a compensation package, but a three-party “environmental management agreement,” with Shoal Lake 40 responsible for protecting water quality as long as the city and province would support Shoal Lake 40 in creating economic development opportunities.

The tripartite agreement took effect once a parallel agreement was signed between the federal government and Shoal Lake 40 in 1990. Under that parallel agreement, Ottawa threw in $2.5 million to build a sewage system, but water is still untreated. A statement in the tripartite agreement signed by Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg: “We shall make every effort to promote economic development beneficial to the band in the Shoal Lake area.”