Nipissing First Nation could take part in a pilot project that would secure sustainable funding for the reserve’s water and sewer system on a multi-year basis.

Chief Scott McLeod says the First Nation is being considered for a $15 million, 10-year program by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC).

If the pilot is approved, McLeod says NFN would be among the first Indigenous communities to receive funding under the INAC program.

“It means we wouldn’t have to worry about spending all the money or it gets clawed back,” he said.

“That wouldn’t apply under the pilot. It means we can properly plan and manage the spending.”

McLeod says the money would go toward replacing old septic beds at Nipissing because many are at the end of their lifespan.

The funding would also replace old well systems.

“These are not the most modern [systems] we have and are susceptible to breakdowns,” McLeod said.

“Some of our communities don’t have systems in place other than a MacGyvered well system that’s well beyond its capacity.”

McLeod says some parts of NFN are growing fast so they need water and sewer attention.

McLeod says he’ll know by the fall if Nipissing is approved for the pilot program.