Slate Falls Nation Chief receives leadership award for her work to lift community’s 11 long-term drinking water advisories

News release

Minister Philpott presents Chief Crane with First Nations Water Leadership Award

March 6, 2018 -  Slate Falls Nation, ON - Department of Indigenous Services Canada

The Government of Canada made a firm commitment to end all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserve by March 2021. In Slate Falls Nation, significant progress has been made with a new water treatment plant now open, allowing the Nation’s Band Council to lift 11 long-term drinking water advisories that had been in place since 2004.

Today Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, joined Lorraine Crane, Chief of Slate Falls Nation at the official grand opening of the community’s new water treatment plant, and presented Chief Crane with the inaugural First Nation Water Leadership Award. This award was presented to Chief Crane for her outstanding leadership and dedication to the advancement of clean drinking water in Slate Falls Nation.

Chief Crane, a long-time advocate for her community and for the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, has demonstrated exceptional determination in making this new drinking water plant a reality. Indigenous Services Canada invested more than $11.6 million for the plant that is built to serve up to 380 residents with safe, clean drinking water and will provide enhanced fire protection capacity for the community.

In addition to the $1.8 billion commitment from Budget 2016, Budget 2018 will provide an additional $172.6 million over three years to accelerate, where possible, projects underway across the country to end long-term drinking water advisories sooner. Funds will also address at risk systems, support capacity building on reserve and help establish First Nations-led service delivery models.

Quotes

“Our government made a firm commitment to end all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserve by March 2021. With 11 advisories recently lifted in Slate Falls Nation, significant progress is being made. Today, I am thrilled to take part in the official grand opening of the new water treatment plant in Slate Falls Nation and to present the inaugural First Nation Water Leadership Award to Chief Lorraine Crane. My congratulations to Chief Crane, Band Council administrators and staff for all of their work in collaboration with the federal government to bring clean, safe drinking water to the community and end water advisories that residents have endured for far too long.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services

“Today is a big day to make changes to our lifestyle and we are very excited to finally be able to drink water right from the tap. The community is looking forward to not having to purchase water or boil the water, and after almost 14 years of the boil water advisory, it will be a positive adjustment and a change to our lifestyle.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for their patience, and the support of elders and leadership throughout this project.”

Chief Lorraine Crane
Slate Falls Nation

Quick facts

  • The lifting of 11 long-term drinking water advisories in Slate Falls Nation is projected to be the largest single drop in overall total number of long-term advisories in the federal government’s commitment towards March 2021.

  • Indigenous Services Canada established the First Nation Water Leadership Award in 2018 as a way to recognize a First Nation individual or organization that has demonstrated leadership and outstanding dedication to the advancement of clean and safe drinking water in First Nations communities.

  • Budget 2016 provided $1.8 billion over five years to significantly improve on-reserve water and wastewater infrastructure, ensure proper facility operation, maintenance, and support the training of water system operators, in addition to $141.7 million over five years to improve drinking water monitoring and testing on reserve.

  • Budget 2018 proposes an additional $172.6 million over three years to help accelerate progress on lifting drinking water advisories, and to ensure more projects can be completed by 2020 instead of 2021.

  • The Government of Canada remains on track to ending all long-term drinking water advisories on public water systems on reserve by March 2021.

  • Since November 2015, 54 long-term drinking water advisories have been lifted on public water systems financially supported by the Government of Canada, bringing the total number of long-term drinking water advisories in effect on public drinking water systems on reserve to 81. Thirty drinking water advisories were added during that same time.

Associated links

Contacts

Andrew MacKendrick
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
819-956-5372

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
819-953-1160

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