Kickstarter campaign hopes to pay Ottawa's portion of reserve road

Organizers hope to raise $10 million with online campaign

WINNIPEG – A kickstarter campaign is underway to pay Ottawa’s portion of an all-weather road for a reserve under one of the longest boil-water advisories in Canada.

The fundraising campaign began Monday and has already raised $11,000.

Organizer Rick Harp is hoping to raise $10 million to pay the federal government’s share of a permanent road for Shoal Lake 40 First Nation.

The reserve, which straddles the Ontario-Manitoba boundary, was cut off from the mainland a century ago to build an aqueduct which supplies Winnipeg with fresh water.

Residents were left in tears last week when a federal cabinet minister visited the reserve, but refused to commit to seeing a road built.

Harp says the fundraiser is a way for people — especially those who have enjoyed the reserve’s water for a century —to show their support for the First Nation and let the federal government know how they feel.