Nibinamik First Nation and the Government of Canada announce water treatment plant upgrades to eliminate long-term drinking water advisory

From: Indigenous Services Canada

May 13, 2019 — Nibinamik First Nation, Treaty 9 Territory, Ontario — Indigenous Services Canada

The Government of Canada is working in partnership with First Nations to improve water infrastructure and support access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water in First Nations communities.

Today, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced funding to advance the design and construction of a water treatment plant upgrade and water distribution expansion for Nibinamik First Nation. Once complete, this project will eliminate the drinking water advisory that has affected the community since 2013.

Following the design phase, construction is set to begin in spring 2020 with a projected completion date of spring 2021. The water treatment plant will provide sustainable access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water to the community’s 360 residents. ISC has committed up to $6 million for the project.


“I am pleased to partner with Chief Yellowhead and Nibinamik First Nation to announce upgrades and an expansion to water infrastructure that will help to eliminate a long-term drinking water advisory in the community and restore clean, reliable drinking water to residents.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

“Every Northerner, regardless of where they live, deserves access to safe, clean, drinkable water. I would like to congratulate Chief Yellowhead and council on their water plant upgrades and expansion, which will end the long-term drink water advisory in the community.

The Honourable Bob Nault, P.C., M.P.
Member of Parliament, Kenora

“This funding will help provide clean, safe drinking water to our community—something that we haven’t had for so many years now. What Nibinamik needs is a long-term, reliable solution to our infrastructure crisis. With this funding Canada is finally signalling that it sees the need to provide more than a band-aid approach and that is a very positive step forward.”

Chief Johnny Yellowhead
Nibinamik First Nation

Quick facts

  • Nibinamik First Nation is in northern Ontario, located approximately 500 km northwest of Thunder Bay.
  • The number of long-term drinking water advisories on public drinking water systems on reserves decreased from 105 in November 2015 to 58 as of May 9, 2019.
  • Working in collaboration with First Nations, the Government of Canada has committed to ending all long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves by March 2021.
  • Budget 2016 provided $1.8 billion over five years toward water and wastewater infrastructure.
  • Budget 2017 committed an additional $49.1 million over three years towards improving access to safe drinking water.
  • Budget 2018 provides an additional $172.6 million over three years to help accelerate progress on lifting drinking water advisories and to ensure more infrastructure projects can be completed prior to 2021. Budget 2018 also provides support for repairs to high risk water systems, recruitment, training and retention initiatives, and the establishment of innovative First Nations-led service delivery models.
  • Budget 2019 proposes to invest an additional $739 million over five years, beginning in 2019–2020, with $184.9 million per year ongoing. The investment will support ongoing efforts to eliminate and prevent long-term drinking water advisories — funding urgent repairs to vulnerable water systems and providing water operator training and support programs to First Nations communities so they can effectively operate and maintain their public drinking water systems.
  • Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Kevin Deagle
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada


NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More