On January 19, 2020, at approximately 5 pm, a Perimeter Aviation flight made a dramatic landing in Shamattawa First Nation. It had originated in Thompson, Manitoba. When it approached the runway in Shamattawa, the landing went wrong, and the plane ended up in a snowbank. The right propeller of the Metro aircraft was completely shattered upon running into the snowbank.
“It is unclear why this Perimeter flight ended up in a snowbank. I flew into Shamattawa earlier in the day and the runway was in very good shape. I had no concerns about the state of the runway,” stated Chief Redhead. “I am now rather concerned about the well-being of the Shamattawa residents who were on that plane. Everyone is physically okay, however, they are very shaken up. I am once again calling on Perimeter Aviation to step up and take steps to improve the air transport services they provide to citizens in Northern Manitoba.”
“Many of the MKO First Nations have expressed that they receive poor service, however, our First Nations have an ongoing, binding agreement with Perimeter Aviation,” shared MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “Many of our communities do not have an all-weather road so air travel is the only option. I am concerned that this large corporation, which profits almost entirely off Northern First Nations, is letting our First Nations down.”
“Shamattawa citizens absolutely need to see action on this matter. Today MKO is asking Perimeter to create a plan to improve service to Northern Manitoba,” said Grand Chief Settee. “If Perimeter is unable to develop a plan that meets the needs of our Northern First Nations, we will be calling on the federal government to step in to investigate this matter.”
Shamattawa is a remote First Nation in Northern Manitoba that relies on the services of Perimeter Aviation to get its citizens to Winnipeg and Thompson. The First Nation has a 10-year agreement with Perimeter Aviation which states that the First Nation must use the services of Perimeter rather than another airline. Throughout 2019, Shamattawa and other Northern First Nations have expressed their dissatisfaction with Perimeter Aviation on numerous occasions.
The Pallister government has been the most combative and insensitive in recent times towards First Nations and Metis People. It still remains unclear if Manitoba’s Conservative Government plans to address the needs of the Northern First Nations.