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Hiawatha First Nation Celebrates New Water Treatment System

October 20, 2023

Congratulations to Hiawatha First Nation for the successful completion of the first phase of its new water treatment plant and distribution system. This is a significant milestone for the community, as this critical project ends more than 20 years of boil water advisories (BWAs) for the community. With clean drinking water now available, the new water treatment system is a symbol of change for the community, which has advocated for better long-term solutions for boil water advisories across Canada.

“Water is life. In August, I turned on the water at home for the first time in 31 years, knowing that I could drink my water and be safe,” said Chief Laurie Carr of Hiawatha First Nation.

The grand opening took place on October 16, to mark the establishment of the new, state-of-the-art facility, with dozens of Hiawatha First Nation community members, politicians, and dignitaries in attendance. Funding for the Water Systems project came from grants including Ontario’s Small Communities Fund (SCF), Indigenous Services Canada’s (ISC’s) Infrastructure Program and the federal Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) Green Infrastructure Stream.

“For too long, the people of Hiawatha First Nation could not always trust the water coming out of the tap,” said Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services. “Thank you to Chief Laurie Carr, the project leaders and all community members who made this possible. We will be at communities’ sides as they work to lift water advisories and provide reliable, clean drinking water to everyone.”

Hiawatha First Nation hired Colliers Project Leaders to act as the project manager, overseeing the planning, design, construction, and commissioning of the water supply system for the community.

“For our team and for myself personally, it has been a journey over the years to see how this project has progressed and come to life,” said Alper Ozer, project manager for Colliers Project Leaders. “We’ve achieved this through many hours of effort and teamwork. The journey continues for the community, and we hope to work together to the remainder of that journey.”

Read more: Global News; The Peterborough Examiner