The Government of Canada and Biigtigong Nishnaabeg First Nation formally announced the construction of a new raw water intake and treatment plant.

This new plant will provide a safe and reliable source of potable water capable of meeting the community’s current and future needs.

This project has been developed in partnership between Biigtigong Nishnaabeg and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). Upon completion, it will provide safe, clean drinking water for more than 168 homes and several non-residential buildings, such as the administration office, schools, teacherages, health centre, community centre and daycare.

“Biigtigong Nishnaabeg is very pleased to see the beginning stages of our water project come to life. This project is critical in meeting the needs of our community to supply clean, reliable drinking water. It is also essential infrastructure for the future growth of our community. This project has allowed our community to secure a basic need for many generations to come,” said Chief Duncan Michano, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg.

Although Biigtigong Nishnaabeg has never been under a long-term or short-term drinking water advisory, this plant was developed as a proactive measure to safeguard community drinking water in the future.

Initial construction began late last year when a construction contract was awarded to Biigtigong Nishnaabeg. The new plant is anticipated to be operational in November 2024 and is expected to cost approximately $58 million.

“Part of keeping water safe and healthy in communities is repairing and replacing infrastructure as it ages. With a new water intake and treatment plant now under construction, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg can continue to ensure their community will have access to clean water now, and into the future. This project is a partnership between Indigenous Services Canada and Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, and construction is expected to be complete in late 2024. Congratulations to Chief Michano and everyone involved.” said Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services.

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Featured image: (Biigtigong Nishnaabeg)


  1. It is not true that Biigtigong Nishnaabeg has never been under a long-term or short-term drinking water advisory.

    When the First Nation’s water supply was contaminated with cyanide in the mid 1990s as a result of the operations of the mining at the Hemlo goldfields, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs built a new water treatment plant for the community and charged the $5 million to the First Nation’s capital account. No attempt was made to recover the costs from the mining companies upstream.
    – MiningWatch Canada, Mining’s Toxic Orphans: A Plan for Action on Federal Contaminated and Unsafe Mine Sites, 12 August 2003, Communication between Roy Michano, Chief, Pic River First Nation and Joan Kuyek, September 20, 1999, and between John Peterson, Chief, Michipicoten First Nation, October 15, 1999.

    There are other references to corroborate this, but as it was in the 90s, no more specific details or dates. See
    Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, Navigation Protection Act Review, December 2, 2016
    MARATHON PALLADIUM PROJECT TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS Thursday, April 7, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. vol. 18 p. 3201


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