Starblanket Cree Nation is celebrating the grand opening of a new water treatment plant on the reserve.

The Cree Nation officially opened what they are say is a “state of the art facility that will bring water to the community for generations to come.”

Local leaders, elders, community members, and representatives from Indigenous Services Canada were on hand for a grand opening ceremony Thursday morning.

According to officials the plant will bring water to all homes on reserve along with community buildings. The plants technology includes a biological filtration system, along with a new raw water well.

“The completion of our new water treatment plant is a crucial step towards honouring the inherent right to clean and safe drinking water,” said Star Blanket Cree Nation chief Michael Starr in a media release. “After years of living under a water advisory, this memorable moment in history represents a significant victory in our ongoing environmental justice and self-determination advocacy.”

Construction of the plant starting in January 2023 with the federal government providing over $10.5 million in funding.

“This critical piece of infrastructure will ensure access to clean drinking water for members of Star Blanket Cree Nation, serving their needs for years to come,” said Minister of Indigenous Services Patty Hajdu. “This essential community project is a crucial step towards the Government of Canada’s path to reconciliation, and we are happy to be part of this historic day.”

The grand opening of the plant comes days after Starblanket finally lifted their long-term drinking water advisory on June 28. The community had been under an advisory since 2007.

(Photos courtesy of File Hills Qu’Apelle Tribal Council)