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Sapotaweyak Cree Nation makes infrastructure investments for the community

Even through the province is in a grip of a third wave of the pandemic, Sapotaweyak Cree Nation (SCN) is still progressively moving forward with their infrastructure plans for the community. Just recently SCN has built a new water treatment plant, which is currently providing water to all the residences, and construction of a new governance office is underway.
“The new governance office was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of June, however because of COVID-19 and some of the restrictions, it has pushed back the date of completion to the end of July,” explained SCN Chief Nelson Genaille. “The new office is 13,000 square feet and the building will have all our departments under one roof, such as our land, social, economic, education, water and sewer, and the band governance staff.
“Originally I left this project with the Council members to work on and design it. In the meantime, I worked on getting the financing completed and the contractors lined up, so it was really a group effort on this.”
There is a definite need in the community for a new governance office. The current one was built over 30 years ago and is faced with serious structural issues. SCN has seen numerous infrastructure developments in the community recently, all of which help to improve living conditions for members.
“For one thing, our current band office that was built in 1990, has mold on the one side, so it’s time to build a new one,” explained Chief Genaille. “The members of SCN see the progress being done to improve the community and the quality of life by the current leadership. This is the same as the new water treatment plant we have operating right now, as well as the new doctors’ office that’s waiting on hydro, water and sewer hook-up, and will be focusing on providing better healthcare to the community. The health office has also been renovated and upgraded to provide more space for offices and security on site. There’s been a lot of development in SCN in the last couple of years.”
Recently SCN’s new water treatment plant has been providing the community with a better source of water and has lifted all boil water advisories that the area was under.
“With the new water treatment plant, our community is going to receive a better supply of water, because with the old system, we were getting water from the river, which is surface water. This is the most polluted type of water to draw from. Now we are drawing from the lake, which will provide for all of the community’s water needs. This will help eliminate any boil water effects that we have had to deal with in the past. The plant officially was up and running two weeks ago. Health Canada’s Environmental Officer tested the water in all the units; everything passed inspection and was good to go.
The recent infrastructure developments to SCN have been quite significant. 14.8 million dollars went into the new water treatment plant and 3.2 million dollars was invested in the new governance office.
“We’re hoping to have some kind of official grand opening for the new governance office and water treatment plant in July, as long as public health restrictions permits it,” concluded Chief Genaille. “SCN will celebrate a better way of life and growth thanks to the new jobs that come from these investments.”