Government of Canada and Eel Ground First Nation work in partnership to improve water and community infrastructure

From: Indigenous Services Canada

News release

June 22, 2018 – Moncton, NB – Indigenous Services Canada

Working in partnership with First Nation communities, investing in on-reserve water and wastewater infrastructure is a priority for Indigenous Services Canada and the federal government.

The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada, visited Eel Ground First Nation today to congratulate the community for progress made on a number of infrastructure projects. In addition to the completion of water systems upgrades and on-going work towards lifting a long-term drinking water advisory, work is underway on a new subdivision and waste diversion centre in Eel Ground.

Overall, $9.22 million has been invested in Eel Ground. This investment demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to addressing long-term drinking water advisories on reserve and improving community infrastructure to benefit First Nation communities for years to come.


“I am excited to visit Eel Ground First Nation to see the work that is happening toward lifting the existing drinking water advisory at Big Hole Tract. Great work is also being done in the community to address future housing development needs, as well as the construction of the new waste diversion centre. These projects are great examples of how we are working together with First Nations to implement long term infrastructure solutions.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services Canada

Quick facts

  • Indigenous Services Canada provided $6.5 million for upgrades to the First Nation’s existing water system. The project also included the drilling and commissioning of a second well that will increase the system’s capacity, allowing it to meet the needs of the community’s future population.
  • Work is underway to upgrade the water and wastewater treatment systems on Eel Ground First Nation’s Big Hole Tract reserve. Indigenous Services Canada is providing $720,000 for the project, which will address water quality issues and enable the community to lift a long-term drinking water advisory that has been in place since 2008.
  • Eel Ground’s Big Hole Tract Reserve is the one remaining First Nation community with a long-term drinking water advisory on a public system in Atlantic Canada. It is anticipated the advisory will be lifted by December 2018.
  • Construction of a new subdivision in Eel Ground has recently started. The subdivision project will include the construction of approximately 35 serviced lots for future housing development and the expansion of the water main and the wastewater collection system. Indigenous Services Canada is providing $1.5 million for the project.
  • Indigenous Services Canada has approved $500,000 in funding for the development of a waste diversion centre on the Eel Ground reserve. The project was designed by the First Nation to promote the proper management of solid waste materials and will provide an additional option for waste disposal to complement the community’s curbside collection program. The new diversion centre will open in July 2018.
  • Eel Ground First Nation (Natoaganeg) is a Mi’kmaq community with a population of approximately 900 members located on the Miramichi River in northern New Brunswick.
  • First Nations are the owners and operators of community infrastructure on reserve, and the Government of Canada provides financial support for on-reserve public water and wastewater systems.
  • In 2008, Eel Ground First Nation issued a boil water advisory for Big Hole Tract following unacceptable bacterial water quality test results and the lack of a disinfection process.
  • The Eel Ground band originally established Big Hole Tract as a seasonal cabin location. The cabin location now includes permanent year-round occupancy by band members, making an upgrade to the water treatment process/system essential.

Associated links


Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada


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