Matthew Tanoush, LEA
WATER AND DISTRIBUTION
Nemaska is a young community established in 1977. There are presently
125 Band Housing units which have water service connections from the pumphouse.
Our pumphouse is located east of our community and was built when the
first eight houses were built in 1979-80. The community receives its water
supply from an underground well and plans are to install an additional
well so that the existing well can serve as a backup. Our potable drinking
water is not treated, but the chlorine is there should we need it. As
the community grew, a reservoir was built to meet the consumption demands
of members of the Nemaska First Nation, and as the years progressed, the
water reservoir was expanded to provide adequate fire protection capacity.
The Nemaska wastewater collection and treatment system was built in three
phases. Phase 1 was construction of a gravity sewer and force mains in
1999. Phase 2 was the construction of collection and infrastructure pipes
in 2000. Phase 3 was construction and operation of a lagoon in November
2001. This major project went through the environmental and review process
under Section 22 of the JBNQA.
Under the supervision of the Maintenance Department, the solid waste management
is collected three times per week and hazardous materials like batteries
or waste-oil are arranged with the Cree Construction Company located near
At the local level, we haven't set up the environmental emergency response
plan under the LEA's Code of Practice but we do have phone numbers of
people to contact in the case of an environmental emergency. The Nemaska
First Nation under the supervision of the Public Safety Department has
an Emergency Preparedness Plan and each department has a role to play.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS & PROJECTS
We received some funding from Environment Canada for a two-year project
on Bats and Birds. This project was in response to a bat infestation in
one of our Band housing units We were told that bats in our region were
endangered species, which resulted in the development of a conservation
and educational awareness program involving secondary students from selected
classrooms. With the funds available, the students were able to build
bat and bird houses. One of the components that captures my attention
after doing this research on bats is that when bats hunt in the night,
they are capable of eating more than their body weight. In fact, they
can consume 600 insects in one hour, that is 100 insects in 10 minutes!
Bats definitely have a valuable purpose in our ecosystem.
OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT THAT MAKE OUR COMMUNITY UNIQUE
Nemaska has had to deal with several close calls with forest fires, most
recently in July of 2002 when he entire community was evacuated. Forest
fires also forced the evacuation of our community in 1982 and 2001.We
could say our community is unique because of the preservation of trees
surrounding our community and within the community. Many visitors that
come to Nemaska comment on how beautiful the trees are. We plan to do
more landscaping in the future and pave roads in the residential areas.