Chisasibi will soon have a new sewer system. After years of foot-dragging by Ottawa and Quebec, both levels of government finally approved to spend $6 million on sewers in mid-April. Construction will start this summer.

The new system will hook up 120 houses, or about one in five houses in the community. The rest of the homes

will continue to use separate septic tanks until the government releases more funds. That may take years. The separate septic tanks have run into a lot of problems because the community is on land where there are high underground water levels. This prevents water in the septic tanks from being absorbed into the ground.

One band official said it’s about time the government is doing something. “We’ve been crying ever since we signed the James Bay Agreement that we shouldn’t pay for this out of our heritage funds. It says in the Agreement that the government should provide the same services as before, which we don’t think the government has done.”