Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

November 25, 2008 12:15 ET

Government of Canada Partners With Northwestern Ontario First Nations to Improve Water Systems

RED ROCK FIRST NATION, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 25, 2008) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, today congratulated the Red Rock First Nation and Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek First Nation on the completion of important new projects to improve water systems on reserve.

"The Government of Canada continues to work with First Nations, as well as other partners, to provide a reliable source of clean, safe drinking water on reserves across Ontario," said Minister Strahl. "The expansion of the water treatment plant at Red Rock, and the completion of the new water treatment plant at Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek are good examples of what may be achieved through our collective efforts."

"I'm pleased with the completed expansion to our water treatment plant," said Red Rock First Nation Chief Pierre Pelletier. "This expansion will ensure the availability of water, now, and for future generations as our community continues to grow and prosper."

Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek Chief Victor Michael Lesperance Jr. said, "I'm proud of the partnerships we have, and the efforts we made with our partners to officially open our new water treatment plant on September 25, 2008. My community can now enjoy an improved quality of life and be assured of a reliable supply of drinking water."

Since 2006, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada has worked with First Nations and other partners to reduce the number of First Nations with high-risk water systems in Ontario by almost 50 percent. In spring 2006, 32 Ontario First Nations had high risk water systems. As of June 2008, that number has been reduced to 17.

Today, the Red Rock First Nation is celebrating the grand opening of an expansion to its water treatment plant following close work with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada for the expansion. Red Rock First Nation, with the help of outside experts, planned, designed and built the project, which includes:

- new filtration systems;

- expanded water storage and treatment capacity;

- new pumps;

- upgraded electrical systems;

- a back-up diesel generator; and

- additions to the existing building to house the new equipment.

In June 2007, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada worked to help build a new water treatment plant at Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek which, with the help of outside experts, planned, designed and built the new facility. Construction started in the summer of 2007, and the new plant was officially opened on September 25, 2008. As a result of the completion of a new water treatment plant, a Boil Water Advisory was lifted on October 27, 2008.

Red Rock First Nation, located about 117 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay off the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 17), has a total of approximately 1,440 registered members, 260 of whom live on reserve.

The Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishnaabek First Nation (also formerly known as Rocky Bay), approximately 135 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay on the southeast shore of Lake Nipigon, has approximately 670 registered members, 340 of whom live on reserve.

This news release is also available at inac-ainc.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • INAC
    Media Relations
    819-953-1160
    or
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Press Secretary
    819-997-0002
    or
    First Nations
    Red Rock Chief Pierre Pelletier
    807-887-2510
    or
    BZA Chief Victor Michael Lesperance Jr.
    807-885-3401