Nishnawbe Aski Nation

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July 8, 2016

NAN CELEBRATES SLATE FALLS WATER PROJECT

SLATE FALLS FIRST NATION (July 8, 2016): Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler joined with First Nation leaders to celebrate a much-needed water project in Slate Falls First Nation that has finally been approved by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.

“Slate Falls First Nation has been on boil water advisories for 12 years and we are pleased that an agreement for this project has finally been reached. Chief and Council have overcome many challenges to get this project approved by the federal government and we hope that work will get underway as quickly as possible,” said NAN Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler. “We are pleased that Slate Falls will finally have access to a reliable supply of water, and we hope that this investment in vital community infrastructure continues across NAN territory.”

Chief Lorraine Crane has signed an agreement for the construction of a $11.6-million water treatment plant and distribution system. The project also includes community fire safety infrastructure including pumps, large diameter pipes and hydrants.

“Nearly all NAN First Nations are in need of major capital investments in their water systems, and we have asked the federal government to prioritize these projects so that our people can access safe drinking water like the rest of Canada,” said Fiddler. “Access to clean water is a basic human right, and it is our expectation that this government will meet its commitment to eliminate all First Nation boil water advisories in five years.”

Located in northwestern Ontario with access by air and logging road, Slate Falls represents approximately 30 per cent of boil water advisories (BWAs) in NAN First Nations, 14 per cent of BWAs in Ontario, and 8 per cent of BWAs in First Nations across Canada.

Slate Falls does not have a proper water system. Water is distributed by 11 pump houses built in 1998, all of which have been subject to Health Canada BWAs since 2004.

The community faces a housing shortage but cannot build more homes as there is no way of connecting them to current water treatment systems. Community members suffer from skin rashes and poor living conditions from the lack of clean water for bathing and cooking.

For more information please contact: Tamara Piche, Nishnawbe Aski Nation Communications Officer – (807) 625-4906, (807) 621-5549 cell or tpiche@nan.on.ca.

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