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The Nishnawbe Aski Nation declares a state of emergency as mild winter weather threatens winter roads that are used to transport essential goods. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

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The chiefs of the Nishnawbe Nation Aski (NAN) have declared a state of emergency as mild winter threatens the viability of the winter road network in northern Ontario.

In a statement, Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler says these roads are essential for 30 of the 49 NAN First Nations, but temperatures remain abnormally high, making their use extremely dangerous.

This poses serious safety concerns for community members and commercial drivers who risk their lives for necessary trips, he laments.

Ice roads are used, among other things, to transport fuel, non-perishable foods and construction materials.

Our communities depend on these roads for the delivery of essential goods and our leaders are rightly concerned .

A quote from Alvin Fiddler, Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation

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Grand Chief Fiddler says leaders will discuss with the federal and Ontario governments to obtain subsidies that will be used to ensure the transportation of goods. According to the press release, this funding would be used for road repairs and for the air transport of goods.

In a statement approved by the assembled leaders in Thunder Bay this week, the Nishnawbe Aski Nation is calling on Indigenous Services Canada as well as the Ontario Ministries of Northern Development, Transportation and Indigenous Affairs to immediately facilitate the provision of necessary grants for fuel and goods essential non-perishable items for affected NAN First Nations.

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