Spring Evacuation Update: Albany River

2023-05-11 | Emergency Management Services, Political Office

The Albany River is an integral part of life to the people of this powerful water system and every spring we are reminded of its formidable strength.

Ice as thick as 6 feet is crushed by massive water current while carving and reshaping the river shores. At any instant the moving ice could barricade into place damming enormous amounts of water whose path then diverts onto the shores and into the communities.

Mushkegowuk Council Emergency Management Services are proud to have collaboratively worked with Indigenous Services Canada , the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre , Fort Albany First Nation and Kashechewan First Nation on the safe evacuation of the communities along the mighty Albany River.

Some Albany River evacuation notes:

  • On April 8th Kashechewan First Nation Chief Gaius Wesley declares state of emergency to initiate the evacuation effort
  • As many as 18 Dash 8 Air Creebec airplane flights were used in a approximate 2 week evacuation period
  • Repatriation and return to the communities will commence shortly as the river levels have receded and the flow of ice is safely moving out to the bay
  • The logistical effort is indigenous lead and coordinated between federal & provincial governments, Mushkegowuk Council, the air liner, host town sites, and community chief and councils making it a true collaboration on many levels

Water sustains us but also can take life.  Our history as Omushkego is one defined by our close relationship with rivers, lakes, and large bodies of water.

For another spring we are honoured to have worked with the communities of the Albany River.

Alison Linklater Grand Chief


Wilbert Wesley EMS Manager