Nishnawbe Aski Nation

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August 17, 2017


THUNDER BAY, ON (August 17, 2017): Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, on behalf of the Executive Council, applauds federal funding announced today for Wataynikaneyap Power (Watay) to build a grid line that will connect Pikangikum First Nation to the provincial electricity grid:

“This is a tremendous achievement and I congratulate Chief Dean Owen and Wataynikaneyap Power for their efforts to bring a reliable supply of power to Pikangikum First Nation. Many of our First Nation communities still rely on diesel generation for electricity, and Watay Power is designed to significantly reduce the financial burden for First Nations while eliminating the health, safety and environmental impacts associated with diesel. This is a significant step to help Pikangikum advance their community plan for growth and development. We look to our federal Treaty partner to continue with infrastructure investments that will improve health and social conditions including housing, fire prevention services, and access to clean drinking water.”

Wataynikaneyap Power is a licensed transmission company equally owned by 22 First Nation communities (51%), in partnership with Fortis Inc. (49%). The First Nation-led energy partnership between Watay, FortisOntario Inc. and Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. (RES/FortisOntario) was launched in August 2015 to expand grid connection for remote First Nations.

Wataynikaneyap was selected by the Government of Ontario in July 2016 to connect 16 remote First Nation communities that reply on diesel power to the provincial electrical grid. It will develop, own, and operate approximately 1,800 kilometers of 230 kV, 115 kV, and 44 kV power lines in northwestern Ontario.

For more information please contact: Michael Heintzman, Director of Communications – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (807) 625-4965 or (807) 621-2790 mobile or by email

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