First Nation Water
TLA-O-QUI-AHT FIRST NATION GETS NEW WATER SUPPLY
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By Michelle Moore
An agreement between the federal government and the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation will be bringing clean water to both the Tla-o-qui-aht communities of Esowista and Ty-Histanis and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation has more than 1200 members located along the Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Roughly 375 people live in Esowista and Ty-Histanis.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve includes the Long Beach area between Ucluelet and Tofino and a 16 kilometre stretch of sandy beach at Wickaninnish Bay. In 2017-2018 the park welcomed 1.13 million people.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada Catherine McKenna and Chief Moses Martin of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation made the announcement in Ucelet British Columbia August 20.
Minister McKenna said "Parks Canada is pleased to have partnered with Indigenous Services and the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation to build a new water supply system. This system - which will ensure access to clean and safe water - will support both Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation for years to come."
The water system consists of two new wells, a chlorination system, and new waterlines to distribute water in the Long Beach Unit of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, and to the communities of Esowista and Ty-Histanis.
The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation communities prior water system required heavy treatment to be rendered potable. Just this spring the communities of Esowista and Ty-Histanis were under boil water order because of high chlorination levels.
It is also part of a federal government initiative of $1.8 billion to provide clean drinking water to all First Nations in Canada and to end all long term boil water advisories.
Chief Moses Martin of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation said "the effort to collaborate to ensure that future generations enjoy safe, potable drinking water for both personal use and for the future growth of the Nation is a momentous step forward."
Chief Moses added that the community was happy the project would provide clean drinking water to visitors of the park which is located on ancestral lands. A certified water operator from the First Nation will be servicing the system.
The new water system will also mean that transporting water to reservoirs will no longer be necessary. The system will be able to provide water to a growing number of visitors at the national park.
This investment is part of a larger investment by Parks Canada of $3 billion over 5 years to support infrastructure work for visitor, waterway, heritage and highway assets within national parks.
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