Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

October 14, 2009 11:14 ET

Construction Underway for Fond du Lac and Black Lake Lagoon Projects in Saskatchewan

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Oct. 14, 2009) - Member of Parliament for Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River, Rob Clarke, on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, today announced that Black Lake and Fond du Lac Denesuline First Nations have begun the construction of new lagoon projects funded through Canada's Economic Action Plan.

"The Government of Canada continues its efforts to ensure First Nation communities have access to safe, reliable water and wastewater facilities by supporting new wastewater treatment systems," said MP Clarke. "The ground breaking for these two lagoon projects demonstrates tangible progress and addresses health and safety priorities."

Approximately $9 million has been invested for the design and construction of a new sewage lagoon for each community. Both projects were successfully tendered in August, with Fond du Lac currently on schedule for an August 2010 completion date and Black Lake in November 2010. A total of $1.4 billion is being invested for Aboriginal peoples under Canada's Economic Action Plan.

Fond du Lac First Nation is home to approximately 1,000 people and is located east of Lake Athabasca. This is a growing community that will benefit from the lagoon as the new facility will accommodate increasing capacity needs to better serve the residents of this First Nation.

"The benefits of this project for our community are many, including both economic and environmental," said Chief Napoleon Mercredi of the Fond du Lac First Nation. "This type of infrastructure project will help to ensure the sustainability and health of our community over the long term."

The Black Lake lagoon expansion project is similar to the Fond du Lac project. It consists of constructing a new lagoon to better serve the 1,450 residents of this First Nation.

"With a community of our size that is growing, infrastructure projects such as this are important from a health and safety perspective," said Chief Donald Sayazie of the Black Lake First Nation. "This project will help to ensure the needs of our community can be met now and in the years to come."

The Government of Canada is investing in projects that will provide lasting, sustainable benefits for First Nation communities by generating new jobs, helping to develop the skilled trades and stimulating the creation of small businesses.

Solid progress has been made in improving water and wastewater conditions on reserves across the country. For example, in 2006, there were 193 high risk water systems. Today, that number has been significantly reduced to 48 systems. In addition, 21 communities were identified as priorities, which meant that the community had both a high-risk drinking water system and a drinking water advisory. Today, only four communities remain on that list.

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Contact Information

  • Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    Minister's Office
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    Media Relations