Mohawks of Akwesasne celebrate opening of new water treatment plant on...
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Subject: Mohawks of Akwesasne celebrate opening of new water treatment plant on...
CNW Group Portfolio E-Mail
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Transmitted by CNW Group on : August 4, 2006 15:11
Mohawks of Akwesasne celebrate opening of new water treatment plant on Cornwall Island
CORNWALL ISLAND, ON, Aug. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Jim Prentice,
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor
for Métis and Non-Status Indians, in conjunction with the Mohawks of Akwesasne
Grand Chief, Timothy Thompson, today announced the official opening of a
state-of-the-art water treatment plant and distribution centre at Cornwall
Island, part of the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne.
"Today, we are celebrating the opening of a new water treatment plant and
the success of a collaborative process," said Minister Prentice. "We are
opening a modern facility in a community that is a leader in establishing high
standards, and demonstrating real progress on our action plan to improve water
quality on reserves."
"As the elected Grand Chief, it is my responsibility to ensure the
delivery of clean and safe water to members of this community," said Grand
Chief Thompson. "It is a responsibility that requires assistance and support
from many partners, including Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. These
working partnerships place us in a better position to have the tools and
resources needed to fulfill our responsibilities. It was because of a
thorough, collaborative approach that the water treatment plant became a
reality ahead of expectation and on budget."
The estimated cost of the Cornwall Island water treatment plant and
distribution system is approximately $13.1 million. The Mohawk Council of
Akwesasne contributed $2 million through its own Nation Building funding. The
new water treatment plant has a design capacity water output of 2,250 m3 (or
500,000 gallons a day), and will service more than 1,000 local residents, with
the capacity to serve over 3,000. With future plant retrofit and appropriate
distribution system extensions, the plant will be capable of servicing over
The water treatment plant was designed using the multi-barrier approach,
exceeding both federal and provincial standards. From the conceptual stage
through to the completion of construction, this project was based on a
collaborative process utilizing value engineering methodology and peer reviews
ensuring value for dollar.
The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne has long recognized the importance of
maintaining its infrastructure assets and, therefore, has continuously
invested in the training of its operators.
On March 21, 2006, Minister Prentice announced a Plan of Action related
to water quality on First Nations, which includes:
- implementation of a Protocol for Safe Drinking Water for
First Nations Communities;
- mandatory training for all water treatment plant operators and a
regime to ensure that all water systems have the oversight of
- complete, specific remedial plans for First Nation communities with
serious water issues, starting with 21 communities most at risk;
- a panel of experts to advise on the appropriate regulatory framework;
- a clear commitment to report on progress on a regular basis.
Since 2003, INAC has invested more than $168 million in upgrading and
building new water plant systems in Ontario. In 2006-2007, it will focus on
investing and assisting First Nations in:
- meeting water standards and regulations;
- inspection and compliance; and
- capacity development at the community level.
The Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne is located south of the City of
Cornwall, and straddles the borders of Ontario, Quebec and New York State.
The community has a population of 14,000 people.
This release is also available at: www.inac-ainc.gc.ca
/For further information: Deirdra McCracken, Press Secretary, Office of
the Honourable Jim Prentice, (819) 997-0002; Peter Sero, Indian and Northern
Affairs Canada, (416) 973-6222; Grand Chief Tim Thompson, Mohawk Council of
Akwesasne, (613) 575-2348; Jay Benedict, Director, Mohawk Government,
Department of Technical Services, (613) 936-1548/
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