A group of First Nations from Saskatchewan and Alberta have signed a water unity agreement, with the goal of improving the quality of water in their communities.

Fishing Lake First Nation, George Gordon First Nation, Ochapowace First Nation and Piapot First Nation from Saskatchewan, and Alexander First Nation and T’suu T’ina First Nation from Alberta are involved.

“If we continue to just leave it, there’s going to be nothing here. Look at our river right now – it’s black mud,” Mark Fox, a member of council on Piapot First Nation, said. 

To start fixing the problems that First Nations are seeing with water, a representative from each community will sit on a board that will discuss issues, and possible solutions. Then, they’ll create a list to bring to the federal government together. 

All members involve believe they’ll be more powerful, and have more cooperation from the federal government if they’re unified in their message. 

“When there’s more nations working together, there’s a lot more strength,” Marcel Arcand, the community development officer for Alexander First Nation, said. “We want to approach Canada eventually with something in our hands that is clear, it’s concise and it’s beneficial for all the people.” 

The group hopes to move away from lagoon infrastructure that many First Nations use now, and to look at new technology with a focus on reusing water. 

“We want to be able to reuse the water – not only for our economic benefit, but for our own water reuse in the community to bring down bills and stuff like that for people,” James Arcand, the capital projects officer for Alexander First Nation, said. 

The group says they welcome more communities to join them in their mission.