PUBLISHED: 20 November 2013

Timeline of Events: Siksika and First Nations

Southern Alberta’s June 2013 floods had a large impact on First Nations communities across Southern Alberta. Among the hardest hit was the Siksika Nation off the Bow River banks about 100 kilometres east of Calgary. An initial 1000 people were evacuated from the community over the duration of the flood. Six months later, nearly 700 Siksika residents remain displaced and unable to return home. During the flood, four Siksika communities were affected resulting in 183 of 200 homes damaged[1]. Given the extremely fast pace of the river, Siksika residents were given thirty minutes warning to gather personal items and evacuate the area. As a result, many personal items inside of homes, vehicles and land were affected by flood water. 

Moving forward, the Government of Alberta has agreed to provide $80 million to the impacted community to aid with clean-up efforts and re-building of homes away from flood zones. While First Nation’s housing remains a federal government responsibility, steps taken by the Government of Alberta to provide aid reflect the extent of flood damage and need for immediate solutions. Furthermore, David Johnston, the Governor General of Canada honored the Siksika community and Chief Rabbit Carrier with a commendation award in September 2013 for their courage in managing the flood and subsequent inspiration for communities across Canada[2]

[1] Varcoe, Chris. “Province commits $80M in historic deal to repair homes on Siksika reserve.” The Calgary Herald. Published Nov 6, 2013. Accessed Nov 7, 2013.

[2] “GG David Johnston visits flood-ravaged Siksika community.” CBC News Calgary. Published September 17, 2013. Accessed November 8, 2013.