Chief Chris Skead and the Council of the Wauzhushk Onigum Nation gathered with Elders, community members, other valued friends, and partners to celebrate the completion of the interconnection of the community to the City of Kenora’s water and sewage system.
“Today is first a celebration for the citizens of our First Nation who will finally have safe drinking water after being on a boil water order for over three years,” said Chief Skead. “And it is also the celebration of a partnership with the City of Kenora that has been discussed for many years and has finally come to fruition.”
Services to the First Nation will be provided under the terms of a Municipal-Type Services Agreement that was signed earlier in 2020 between the First Nation and the City.
“The City of Kenora values the opportunity to work with our friends and neighbours in Wauzhushk Onigum Nation to provide a solution to their servicing needs,” said Mayor Dan Reynard. “This is truly a mutually beneficial collaboration, that meets the needs of the First Nation while making use of capacity in our infrastructure and provides a new revenue stream to support the ongoing costs of the utility.”
This project was made possible through Indigenous Services Canada’s investment of over $14.6-million to ensure access to clean, safe drinking water to residents of Wauzhushk Onigum Nation.
“Congratulations to Chief Skead and the community of Anishinabe of Wauzhushk Onigum Nation as you celebrate your water and wastewater connection to the city of Kenora,” said Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller. “Today is reason to celebrate as this important project will bring a safe and reliable supply of drinking water to residents of this community and will support the elimination of a long-term drinking water advisory.”
Representatives of Indigenous Services Canada, the project engineer JR Cousins of Winnipeg, the contract Makkinga Construction of Thunder Bay, the project manager Colliers International of Thunder Bay, and the project coordinator Possibilities Group of Sault Ste. Marie joined the celebration that took place on September 30, 2020.