MISHKEEGOGAMANG FIRST NATION, ON – Since the inception of the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation’s (OFNTSC) HUB program on Sept 14, 2020, HUB technicians have had the pleasure of working with, and providing expert water treatment support to Mishkeegogamang First Nation. Through the process of local analysis/testing and operational support, Mishkeegogamang First Nation Chief David Masakeyash was able to make the decision to rescind the long-term boil water advisory.
Since September, OFNTSC’s HUB staff have made 4 visits, providing 8 productive working days within all four of the Water Treatment Plants in the community. Success to date can be measured by the strong working relationships that have been developed with the Chief and Council, Water Treatment Operators, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) Environmental Health Officer, and the OFNTSC.
The rescinded long-term boil water advisory (LTBWA) can be attributed to the cooperation of Chief and Council and the confidence and willingness of Water Treatment Plant Operators who work devotedly towards providing safe drinking water.
OFNTSC’s roles in the community include sound boarding for the operator with technical/operational inefficiencies, liaising with ISC Environmental Health Officer, water quality sampling, assisting with multi person tasks, and contributing to operator development.
Because of its location, Mishkeegogamang does not have access to the same resources generally found closer to larger centres. For instance, operators often find themselves responsible for all plant functions and working alone. OFNTSC’s HUB program is able to focus on these circumstances and provide the expertise needed at the operational level, often times, where it is needed most.
Through resources such as plant condition assessments, annual ISC performance inspections, and OFNTSC’s divisional wealth of projects and data, HUB Support Services are able to take informed and positive steps toward the long-term resolution of the Water Treatment challenges faced by not only Mishkeegogamang, but many other communities as well.
Although the LTBWA has been rescinded, the work has only just begun. Operational and technical repairs continue to emerge and take place; much needed capital upgrades continue to be processed; and, long term commitment at many levels is needed to ensure the reliable and continuous production of Safe Clean Drinking Water to the community into the future.
With the support of Chief and Council and Water Treatment Operators, HUB looks forward to continuing down this positive path of long-term resolution of water treatment challenges that have persisted for too long.
The long-term boil water advisory for Mishkeegogamang was implemented in June 2019 and lifted in November 2020.
About the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation (OFNTSC)
The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation was created in 1995 to provide technical advisory services. This client base consists of 133 Ontario First Nations,16 Tribal Councils, 6 Large First Nations and 19 Unaffiliated First Nations in Ontario. Areas of service include operations and maintenance, housing, water and wastewater treatment, infrastructure, emergency planning, environment, and fire and safety. For more information on the OFNTSC, please visit www.ofntsc.org.