This release was issued under a previous government.

First Nations getting new water systems

Minister Feehan, First Nations leaders and members of West Interlake Water Commission celebrate progress on First Nations Regional Drinking Water Tie-in Program.

In 2017, Premier Rachel Notley committed $100 million to deliver clean drinking water to the boundaries of First Nations. Ten projects are now underway that will benefit 14 First Nations across the province.

Alberta’s First Nations Regional Drinking Water Tie-In Program is a collaboration between First Nations, the Alberta government, municipalities or water commissions and the federal government.

The program supports the elimination of long-term drinking water advisories, while making sure there is sustainable drinking water on reserves.

Grants are given to local water commissions or water supply municipalities to extend their service to First Nations.

“As Alberta continues on the journey of reconciliation, it is of the utmost importance that Indigenous people have access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water. Building up capability and ensuring water sovereignty for First Nations is my top priority.”

Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations

“We’re very pleased to have concluded an agreement with Alberta in December of 2018 that both respects and protects our treaty rights and self-government and, at the same time, is a key part of securing an abundant, safe and reliable water supply for decades to come. We are hopeful the agreement will also serve as a model for resolving future water disputes between Alberta and other First Nations. This is a positive development.”

Chief Craig Makinaw, Ermineskin First Nation

“I want to commend the province on the work they’ve completed over the past four years – and specifically their commitment to making a positive impact in Indigenous communities. Our members have experienced the direct benefits of provincial programs that are aimed at improving the community’s overall safety, health and well-being, and the First Nations Regional Drinking Water Tie-In Program is one such example.”

Chief Bernice Martial, Cold Lake First Nation

“Projects that create the ability for First Nation communities to access potable water and wastewater infrastructure, which helps to build capacity to serve their communities, are truth and reconciliation in action. I applaud the efforts Alberta and the federal government are taking, by providing funds directly earmarked to insure full inclusion and full partnership at the decision-making table.”

Lorne Olsvik, West Interlake Water Commission

Quick facts

  • The First Nations Regional Drinking Water Tie-In Program invests roughly $100 million over six years:
    • 2017-18: $14.5 million
    • 2018-19: $24.4 million
    • 2019-20: $24.4 million
    • 2020-21: $12.8 million
    • 2021-22: $12.2 million
    • 2022-23: $9.6 million
  • Current funded projects:
    • Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation
    • Paul First Nation
    • Whitefish (Goodfish) Lake First Nation
    • Cold Lake First Nations
    • Frog Lake First Nation
    • Dene Tha’ First Nation
    • Alexander First Nation
    • Beaver Lake Cree Nation
    • Ermineskin Cree Nation
    • Mikisew Cree First Nation

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