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DENETIA SCHOOL, BC, DO NOT CONSUME WATER ADVISORY DUE TO LEVELS OF LEAD, MANGANESE
Denetia School is a K-7 school located in lower post, BC making it BC’s most northern school. Denetia, which means “Good Person” in the Kaska language has 5 students, ages 6-11 that attend one class.
Located 22 kilometers south of Watson Lake, Yukon, Denetia School has been on a Do Not Consume Water Advisory issued by the Northern Health Authority since November 7, 2019 due to chemical tests having indicated levels of lead above the maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) and levels of manganese above the Aesthetic Objective (AO).
WaterToday spoke to Baily White, Custodian/Teacher who was filling in for Susan Deerskin, Principal/Teacher. “We are managing with bottled water,” White told us. “The teachers are working on getting a tank for water.”
White who has lived in the community of 150 her entire life says only the school is affected by the advisory.
Payton Miller,11, the senior student of the school had moved to Denetia from Prince Albert. “I like it here much better,” she said leaving her photography project to speak to WT. “The teachers can give us extra special attention.” The school focuses on a program called P.A.C.E.S., an acronym for Personal Achievement Cultural Experiential Skills. The philosophy is to combine traditional local aboriginal language culture and traditions with hands-on learning experiences that are engaging and personally relevant to the students. They even have their own Facebook Page. “Each student has an individual program,” White said.
The Denetia School Student Population
Payton who loves going for walks with her friends and visiting her great-grandmother says sometimes she brings a drink from home, “but there is always bottled water in school for us to drink.”
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