From left to right Mayor John Ruttan, Snuneymuxw Councillor Bill Yoachim, and Snuneymuxw Chief Doug White III.
At a ceremony Oct. 22 on Cedar Road in Nanaimo, ground was broken on a water infrastructure project that will bring clean drinking water to Snuneymuxw First Nation Indian Reserve #2 on Vancouver Island. Over more than a decade, water has been trucked to the community at high cost because of contaminated groundwater making the old wells unusable. The provision of water to I.R. #2 comes through a collaboration between the City of Nanaimo and the Snuneymuxw First Nation that began in 2010 in relation to the city’s planned water treatment facility. “We are glad to see partnership between the city and Snuneymuxw, providing a foundation for real change in the quality of life of Snuneymuxw and citizens of Nanaimo. While we continue to have many challenges between us with respect to water, this is one model of partnership that has worked and needs to be celebrated,” said Chief Doug White III. “This project is one small step in assisting Snuneymuxw citizens to unlock the full potential of their land. It is a day to celebrate for Snuneymuxw. So many of our Indigenous relations across the island, province and country continue to face challenges with providing this most basic of needs, clean and safe drinking water, to their people” added Chief White.