The Government of Canada will invest approximately $8.8 million to help upgrade the Neskantaga First Nation community’s water treatment system. The announcement includes an addition to the existing water plant with new treatment technology and additional reservoir storage capacity to meet the community’s long-term needs, enabling more than 340 residents to access clean water for the first time in more than 22 years.
The community, remotely located on Attawapiskat Lake, 271 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, currently has the longest boil water advisory in Canada. The First Nation can only be accessed by plane or by winter roads.
The work is expected to be completed in late spring of 2018.
Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation said, “Neskantaga First Nation has been without clean drinking water for more than two decades, and we are pleased that funding has finally been approved. The community has overcome many challenges to secure much-needed upgrades that will provide a reliable supply of safe water. The approval of this project is a strong signal of this government’s commitment to eliminating all First Nation drinking water advisories, and we hope that investment in vital community infrastructure continues across NAN territory.”
“Investing in water systems like the one at Neskantaga First Nation represents one more step in renewing our relationship with First Nations and reaffirms our commitment to end all long-term drinking water advisories affecting on-reserve public systems financially supported by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada,” Bennett said.