On Dec. 15, Okanagan Shuswap MP Colin Mayes helped celebrate the completion of upgraded water systems for the Little Shuswap Lake Band and Okanagan Indian Band.
Each community received new water wells, distribution and supply lines, and a pump house and treatment system. Okanagan Indian Band’s system also received a new reservoir.
For the Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band, the funding helped to connect two water systems between the main community and the north subdivision which will maximize water quality, quantity and fire protection.
This $9.9 million investment by the federal government will allow both First Nations to better provide their members with clean, safe drinking water.
Funding for the upgraded water systems came from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada:
Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band’s water system was $5,291,885 and the band invested an additional $135,230.
Chief Oliver Arnouse of the Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band stated:
“This project is indicative of the shared commitment between governments to provide safe drinking water for our community. Things grow where water flows and the upgraded water system will certainly help our community grow as we complete our land use plan and work towards further upgrades to our infrastructure. We thank the government for the investment and look forward to future collaborations to build capital projects and to build relationships.”
“We recognize that improving water and wastewater systems on reserve is crucial to supporting healthy, self-sufficient and prosperous First Nation communities…”