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'EMBC failed us': Shackan chief critical of province's flood response

Vancouver -

The Chief of a B.C. First Nation says his people "slipped through the cracks" after floods wiped out most of their land.

Arnold (Arnie) Lampreau is the Chief of the Shackan Indian Band, a 130-member First Nation that sits along Highway 8 between Merritt and Spences Bridge.

Their land was caught up in the same floods that rocked the City of Merritt nearly two weeks ago.

"It's pretty much erased all of our farm lands, ranch lands, economic viability for the band and its members,” Lampreau told CTV News.

“In one fatal swoop, it was gone.”

Like the residents of Merritt, members of Shackan were sent to a hockey arena in Kamloops, where they waited for further direction.

Lampreau says many waited for hours before being re-routed to Kelowna and Vernon, and those who remained in Kamloops received little help.

“They got vouchers for London Drugs and Value Village, no food, no accommodations,” said Lampreau.

He says the band has rented out rooms in Kamloops on its own dollar.

“EMBC failed us big time," Lampreau said. "We fell through the cracks. Some of our people waited in cars for days.”

“They waited patiently for EMBC because they said they’d call, and they never did.”

Lampreau says he’s yet to have any contact with the province since the floods occurred.

CTV News has reached out to Emergency Management B.C. for a response; the provincial agency has yet to provide one.

Lampreau says his people have been working with engineers to assess the damage. He says they’ll need more land to have any chance at a successful rebuild.

“The parcels of land that washed away took hundreds of years to clear and maintain,” he said. "We’ll be fighting for more land.” Top Stories

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