Freedom Road

Shoal Lake 40 First Nation has emerged from 100 years of forced isolation as the long awaited and aptly named Freedom Road, a 24-kilometer permanent road connecting it to the Trans-Canada Highway, has officially opened.

"This road means everything to us. It's going to change everything here in this community. It's been a long, hard battle just to get access to this community. But all of that changes now."

Chief Erwin Redsky

Agassiz Drilling was pleased to be an integral partner in the construction of Freedom Road and join Chief Erwin Redsky in celebrating this historic milestone for the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation.

The Challenge :

The First Nation, situated on the Manitoba–Ontario border, had previously relied on the barge ferry to transport residents across the 100-metre-wide channel of water between their island and neighbouring Iskatewizaagegan First Nation (also known as Shoal Lake 39) on the mainland.

The Result :

For the first time in 30 years, Shoal Lake 40 First Nation has voluntarily dry-docked its aging ferry — with no intention of ever using it again now that there is a permanent road linking the community to the rest of the country for the first time in 100 years.