KITIGAN ZIBI, QC, Sept. 23, 2016 /CNW/ - All Canadians – including First Nations – should have access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water and addressing water and wastewater infrastructure is a key priority of the Government of Canada. The Government is also committed to advancing reconciliation and improving community access to lands and resources through the Addition to Reserve processes.
The Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, visited Kitigan Zibi to meet with Chief Jean-Guy Whiteduck, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg council and youth. During the visit, the Minister announced an investment of $4.9 million that will connect 34 new housing development lots to the community's water supply and sewer systems.
The Minister also announced the addition of a total of 2,582 hectares of land to the Kitigan Zibi reserve. This land addition provides exciting opportunities for socio-economic development in the region and in the community, which hopes to use this land for ecotourism and forestry.
"Today, it's an honour to visit Kitigan Zibi to finalize the successful collaboration on these two projects. Working with First Nation communities to ensure access to clean drinking water is a top priority for our government. The investment announced today will enable many more homes to connect to the drinking water supply, and the Addition to Reserve provides an excellent opportunity for the community to pursue new economic opportunities."
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
"Today's announcement demonstrates our clear commitment to First Nation communities across Canada. Together we can work on building strong and healthy communities. I also look forward to seeing the many benefits that the Addition to Reserve will bring to Kitigan Zibi and our region.''
William Amos, P.C., M.P.
Member of Parliament for Pontiac
"I thank Minister Bennett and her official in their efforts to move quickly with the addition to reserve status the parcel of Eagle forest land area next to our community. This parcel of land will allow for economic opportunities in eco-tourism. The $4.9M investment in water and sewer for 34 new building lots will allow Kitigan Zibi members to have access to properly serviced lots. I look forward to positive dialog with the minister to address other issues of priority to my community."
Chief, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg
- The community is located 130 kilometres north of Gatineau. It is bound on the north by Rivière de l'Aigle and Rivière Désert. The community has 3,189 members, of whom 1,577 live on the reserve.
- The hook-up project will bring to 334 the number of homes served by the community's water supply and sewer systems.
- The land in the Aigle forest (2,582 hectares) added to the reserve will facilitate activities in partnership with neighbouring municipalities, such as Lac Cayamat, with which the community hopes to cooperate on developing tourist trails.
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SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
For further information: media may contact: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160