September 25th, 2021

First Nation opens water treatment plant, ending decades-old drinking water advisory

By The Canadian Press on September 15, 2021.

Stewart Redsky, former chief of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, walks past one week's worth of 20 litre water bottles in the community's water storage room on Feb. 25, 2015. The First Nation is now welcoming clean, running water for the first time in nearly 25 years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

SHOAL LAKE, ONTARIO, CANADA – Shoal Lake 40 First Nation is welcoming clean, running water for the first time in nearly 25 years.

The First Nation on the Manitoba-Ontario boundary is celebrating today the opening of its new water treatment plant, along with a new school.

The federal government says a long-term boil-water advisory for the community, which was issued in 1998 and was one of the longest in Canada, has been lifted.

The First Nation was cut off from the mainland more than a century ago during construction of an aqueduct that supplies Winnipeg with its drinking water.

The community advocated for years for a road to be built to connect it to the mainland and, in 2019, what became known as “Freedom Road” was completed.

Construction on the water treatment plant began soon after.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 15, 2021.

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