News / Edmonton

First Nation ‘optimistic’ about Alberta’s $100 million water plan

Frog Lake First Nation hopes to be part of project that supplies clean drinking water.

Frog Lake First Nation is currently one of 13 First Nations in Alberta under a boil water advisory issued by Health Canada.

Steve Johnson/Flickr

Frog Lake First Nation is currently one of 13 First Nations in Alberta under a boil water advisory issued by Health Canada.

Almost everyone on Frog Lake First Nation buys water — drinking from the tap is a no-go.

“I believe the tap water is tied to sickness in some of our members,” said Greg Desjarlais, a councillor at Frog Lake First Nation, a community east of Edmonton.

“We need to come up with a solution.”

That solution could lie in the province’s plans to invest $100 million to make drinking water clean and safe on Alberta First Nations, in partnership with the federal government.

“We’re prepared to work with any community that has identified a need,” said Indigenous relations minister Richard Feehan.

The issue affects First Nations across the province — many have boil-water advisories throughout the year, which means affected residents must buy bottled water.

“We’re trying to move away from that,” Feehan said, “and move to dependable structural changes so everyone has clean and safe drinking water.”

Frog Lake is currently one of 13 First Nations in Alberta under a boil water advisory issued by Health Canada.

“It’s 2017,” Dejarlais said. “I like to believe safe, clean, healthy drinking water is a human right. I believe we should have that. It’s our long-term goal.”

And there’s an opportunity around the corner, he added.

He said there are already preliminary plans to see a new water line go from Cold Lake to Bonnyville.

The line would also run through Frog Lake First Nation.

“We think there could be a great opportunity for Frog Lake to tie into that line,” he said. “Working with the municipalities to make this project a success would be something that means a lot to us.”

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