About Us


AFNWA is a First Nations owned nonprofit organization incorporated under the Canada NotforProfit Corporations Act on July 18, 2018.

With a service approach based on social, economic, and environmental outcomes, AFNWA is responsible for the operation, maintenance, and capital upgrades of all water and wastewater assets in participating First Nations. The utility was fully operational by Spring 2022 and is led by a Board of Directors of up to 15 members, including 12 from First Nations leadership and three (3) technical experts. AFNWA’s Board currently consists of nine (9) First Nations Chiefs and is chaired by Chief Wilbert Marshall of Potlotek.

AFNWA applies First Nations traditional knowledge and culture emphasizing environmental stewardship, the spiritual aspects of water, and TwoEyed Seeing. ‘TwoEyed Seeing,’ as defined by Albert Marshall Sr., “is an approach to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous ways of knowing, and to see from the other eye with the strengths of Western ways of knowing, and to use both of these eyes together.” In Mi’kmaw, it is Etuaptmumk.

The concept of Etuaptmumk is known as Nisi ‘Sotasu in Wolastoqey,  which translates to, “two ways of knowing.”

Elders play crucial roles in Indigenous communities, as First Nations have both formal and informal leadership. To ensure AFNWA always aligns with First Nations values, culture and knowledge, Elders will guide the Board through an advisory committee. The Elders Advisory Lodge (EAL) consists of five (5) Elders approved by the Board, with regional representation.


To provide safe, clean drinking water and wastewater in all participating First Nations communities in Atlantic Canada, delivered by a regional water authority owned and operated by First Nations.


To be a recognized leader for the delivery of water and wastewater services to First Nations communities across Canada.

Strategic Goals

  • To support longterm selfgovernance
  • To improve service delivery
  • To ensure effective governance of the AFNWA
  • To ensure financial sustainability of the AFNWA
  • To integrate First Nation culture and tradition and realize aspirations to achieve selfdetermination.

Objectives for Governance and Accountability

  • To ensure that the Board of the AFNWA is truly representative of the Owners.
  • To ensure that the values of engagement, openness and transparency are reflected in the governance and accountability of the AFNWA.
  • To ensure that the personal qualities and business experience of Directors is consistent with those required to oversee the AFNWA’s mission, vision, and business strategy.
  • To ensure that Directors are qualified and suited to deal with the opportunities and risks facing the AFNWA, its proposed strategies and its ongoing needs and circumstances.
  • To apply First Nations traditional knowledge and culture, including environmental stewardship, the spiritual aspects of water and TwoEyed Seeing.