Leading progress, innovation, and a long term solution for water and waste water management for Atlantic First Nations communities.
The Atlantic First Nations Water Authority represents change in the system that has been in place for over 150 years. It reflects the desire of First Nations for self–determination and control of a resource that is critical for public health, and protection of the environment.
A message from Carl Yates,
Chief Executive Officer
Welcome to our journey to provide a sustainable approach in the delivery of water and wastewater services to First Nations communities in the traditional territories of Mi’kma’ki and Wolastoq. The Atlantic First Nations Water Authority (AFNWA) was spawned over 10 years ago when First Nations leaders recognized that a different approach was necessary to resolve long standing problems. Central to a new path was to have more control in decision making and incorporate long–termthinking for public health protection and preservation of the environment. AFNWA has been given the opportunity to realize these objectives with the support of many communities. This support will help AFNWA improve water and wastewater infrastructure, increase the level of service, build knowledge capacity for First Nations, and provide direct economic benefits to participating communities.
The AFNWA was incorporated in July 2018 and since then, great progress has been made. After the completion of a Business Case and the signing of a Framework Agreement with Indigenous Services Canada in June 2020, a road map has been prepared to position the utility for full operations in the Spring of 2022. Throughout this coming year, we will be very intentional with engagement of Chiefs, Councilors, Operators, Elders,and other Band staff to ready ourselves for the transfer of responsibility to AFNWA.
It is a responsibility that we take very seriously and will strive to meet or exceed community expectations. We do so over the watchful eye of the Creator who guides us to ensure we are one with the water.
Carl Yates, Chief Executive Officer
Atlantic First Nations Water Authority
A welcome from Board Chair, Chief Wilbert Marshall
I am both proud and honoured to be selected by my colleagues as Board Chair for the Atlantic First Nations Water Authority. The creation of an Indigenous-owned water authority is a tremendous steptowards nation-to-nation reconciliation.
For decades, my community has dealt with water unfit for use and consumption. From repeated boil advisories to needing clean water shipped into the community, we have all felt the impacts of a colonial approach.
I was present during AFNWA’s earliest stages when it was only a concept; an idea of what can be done in the future. Today, I see efforts undertaken by the Government of Canada and First Nations leadership, and can tell our communities that “things are going to be better. Soon, these problems will be a thing of the past.”
Soon we will take the lead in water and wastewater safety and improve service in our communities with a professional organization representing the communities we serve. t. Now we have an organization –owned by First Nations and operated by First Nations–a significant change from the colonial systems. The AFNWA will ensure that these services receive proper funding such that our communities can realize the social, economic and environmental benefits that other Canadians take for granted.
I greatly look forward to working with the Board, Community leadersand AFNWA staff to create better futures for all First Nations in Atlantic Canada.
Saqmaw Wilbert Marshall