Flood Claim



On July 16, 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in the flood claim court case of Southwind v. Canada, 2021 SCC 28. The Court ruled that Canada’s fiduciary duty required it to obtain the highest possible compensation for the flooded reserve lands, which means assessing the value of the lands as part of the hydroelectric project. The case was sent back to the trial judge for reconsideration. Since then, the First Nation has been pursuing a two-track approach: negotiations with Canada to resolve the case, while preparing for a new trial on the compensation amount if a negotiated resolution is not achieved.

Settlement Negotiations

Between January and August, the First Nation and Canada have been meeting to negotiate a settlement for the Southwind case. Most recently, the Chief and Council met in Ottawa with Canada’s negotiators again on September 21st, and with Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller on September 22nd. The meetings were focused on getting to a final compensation number that can be presented to the LSFN membership for ratification. The parties are now close to a final compensation number, and the Chief and Council hope to report to the membership on the settlement amount soon.

Next Steps

Once the compensation amount has been agreed to between Canada and the Chief and Council, further steps will take about another year to complete before the money is released to the First Nation. First, the settlement amount will require approval from the Federal Cabinet. Second, the LSFN membership must ratify it by a vote. Third, the final settlement agreement will then be signed by the First Nation and by Canada. Once an agreement is signed and all other steps are completed, Canada can then move forward with paying the funds. Chief and Council are very pleased that the work done over this past year has put the First Nation on a path to conclude this longstanding injustice with Canada.