How Your Community Can Participate in AFNWA and Experience the Benefits
A community can join and become a voting member of AFNWA by passing a Band Council Resolution (BCR) to confirm its participation. Once received, we will conduct a water and wastewater system assessment and build long–term capital and operational budgets that include the community’s infrastructure and service needs.
Communities are encouraged to join now but are always welcome to join in the future as the utility is designed to accommodate growth. While some communities expressed a reluctance to participate from broken agreements of the past, we do believe that most will join when they see the merits of a First Nations–owned and operated utility.
It is to be expected that operating costs will be higher, but communities will receive a significantly higher level of service. We do also expect that capital funding will increase, closing the infrastructure deficit that exists in First Nations communities. Operations and Capital Budgets will be included in a 10–Year Business Plan developed during 2021–22 and presented to the federal government as the basis for funding.
In December 2020, The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada, announced the commitment from the federal government to provide 100% funding for the operation and maintenance of water and wastewater systems in First Nations communities.
Most importantly, AFNWA will build capacity for water and wastewater expertise and provide direct benefits to the communities it serves by hiring local contracts and providing career opportunities with the utility. The Board has passed policies to ensure that Operators will be given employment offers with the utility when water and wastewater assets are transferred.
No communities, nor its individual residents, will ever be asked to pay for any central water and wastewater services we provide. However, under current policy, a protocol for ISC–funded infrastructure, the federal government will not provide additional funding for the operations and maintenance of individual wells and septic systems.
If your community is interested in joining AFNWA, our would like to receive more information, please contact:
Carl Yates, Interim CEO
James MacKinnon, Interim COO
Adam Gould, Manager of Communications and Outreach