Frequently Asked Questions

Governance Questions

How is Atlantic First Nations Water Authority set up?

AFNWA is incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation, lead by a Board of Directors (consists of 15 members, 12 First Nations leaders and three (3) technical experts). An Elders Advisory Lodge will also guide the Board in adhering to traditional practices.

How are Board members selected?

AFNWA Board members must meet certain criteria for appointment:

  • First Nations leadership: The Board of Directors (Board) includes up to 15 members with the majority being First Nations representatives. Currently, AFNWA has seven (7) Chiefs on its Board, two (2) Regional Chiefs from Assembly of First Nations, and one (1) technical expert.
  • Selection: Members are selected by the ownership Chiefs to serve on the BOD at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
  • Technical experts: The Chiefs will provide recommendations on selecting technical experts who will advise and accompany the Board through their decision-making and approvals.
  • Limited terms: All BOD members will serve four-years with rotating appointments to ensure continuity.

Who currently serves on the Board?

As of May 2021, AFNWA Board consists of:


    • Chief Wilbert Marshall [Chair], Potlotek
    • Chief Ross Perley [Vice Chair], Tobique
    • Chief Andrea Paul, Pictou Landing First Nation
    • Chief Arren Sack, Elsipogtog
    • Chief Terry Paul, Membertou
    • Chief Darlene Bernard, Lennox Island
    • Chief Leroy Denny, Eskasoni
    • AFN Regional Chief for Nova Scotia & Newfoundland Paul Prosper
    • AFN Regional Chief for New Brunswick & Prince Edward Island Roger Augustine
    • Ulnooweg Development Inc. CEO Todd Hoskins

How do communities pursue participation with AFNWA?

A community can join and become a voting member of AFNWA by passing a Band Council Resolution (BCR) to confirm their commitment. Once received, AFNWA builds long-term capital and operational budgets that include the community’s infrastructure and service needs.

How does AFNWA moderate political bias?

AFNWA is a technical organization, and the Board approves the annual amount spent on water and wastewater service, as identified and recommended by AFNWA Senior Management staff. Essentially, the Board is asked with ensuring benefits to all communities, not just any one community. The Board’s function is to approve the scale of budgets, not to decide on the specific projects and programs within.

What governance oversight and polices will be put in place to ensure AFNWA will comply to required water and wastewater standards?

AFNWA is in discussions with Indigenous Service Canada to determine which federal agencies or First Nations organizations are best suited for this role. We have agreed that Environment Canada would be appropriate for regulating wastewater under the new Wastewater System Effluent Regulations, and are exploring a regulator for drinking water but are developing water safety plans in partnership with Dalhousie University to comply with Health Canada’s Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.