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Water Today Title February 21, 2024

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Features

Updated 2023/9/28 First Nation Water


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WT REZ


The long-standing lack of clean drinking water and wastewater facilities in Indigenous communities has left an indelible stain on Canada's flag. For years successive government have pledged to fix the problem, yet today there are 28 long-term and 28 short-term advisories in Indigenous communities across the country. While 109 long-term advisories have been lifted, 28 remain, and the number of short-term advisories has not been declining in recent months, with short-term advisories regularly recurring in the same communities. Band Councils say government initiatives suffer from a lack of holistic approach, unprofessional consultants or engineers and poor funding for operators and related infrastructure.
Short-Term Advisories
According to Indigenous Services Canada latest report, there are 28 short-term advisories in effect in First Nations communities across Canada, excluding BC; and 9 in BC issued by the First Nation Health Authority (FNHA).

List of all Short-Term Advisories
Long-Term Advisories
In place for more than a year, these advisories are also monitored by Indigenous Services Canada (ISC)

There are currently 28 long-term advisories across Canada, excluding BC; and 9 in BC issued by the First Nation Health Authority (FNHA)

List of all Long-Term Advisories
A view from the Rez
Interviews Chiefs or Band Officials of the communities under long-term advisory. The latest ones include Chief Bruce Achneepineskum of Marten Falls First Nation, ON; and Chief Skead, Wauzhushk Onigum Nation, ON

A view from the rez -All Interviews

Interview with ISC Minister, Patty Hajdu
"It is our collective duty to end discrimination against Indigenous peoples" - 2022/1/21

All First Nation water advisories are also listed on our provincial maps along with non-indigenous advisories.


A VIEW FROM THE REZ


The lack of clean water in Indigenous communities is Canada' national shame. For years successive government have pledged to fix the problem, yet today there are 37 long-term and 30 short-term advisories in Indigenous communities across the country.

In 2005, then Prime Minister Paul Martin pledged $1.6 billion to correct what he called "a 100-year-old problem on reserves". The Trudeau government has invested billions dollars in First Nation's Drinking Water since 2016, but sixteen years later, the problems persist.

Indigenous communities say government initiatives suffer from a lack of holistic approach, unprofessional consultants or engineers and poor funding for operators and related infrastructure.

In the hope of moving this situation forward, WaterToday is giving the voice to the people on reserves under long-term water advisories. Asking them to give us their account of the twists and turns of their long road to clean water, and tell us about their dealings with 'Isk" as they call Indigenous Services Canada (ISC).

NOTE: January 2024
These interviews were conducted in 2021, at the height of the media crisis, some of these advisories have been since lifted, others not. We will be reaching out to all these communitites again for updates on their water situation.


THE INTERVIEWS

(click on titles for full interviews)


8/24/2021

WAUZHUSHK ONIGUM FIRST NATION- BWA issued 2008-05-26 -Lifted

Happy with the clean water flowing from its taps, Wauzhushk Onigum looks forward to the development opportunities it provides

8/16/2021

MARTEN FALLS FIRST NATION- BWA issued 2005-07-18

Marten Falls: 20-year old bwa to remain in effect until operations and maintenance funding is secured

7/21/2021

WASHAGAMIS FIRST NATION- BWA issued 2008-12-19 - Lifted

Water plant running, pipes flushed, final tests... And it's a go in Washagamis Bay!

7/19/2021

WAWAPAKEWIN FIRST NATION- BWA issued 2005-03-03 - Lifted

Under bwa since 2005, Wawapakewin band has to fly in bottled water from the nearest airport

5/30/2021

SAPOTAWEYAK CREE NATION- BWA issued 2020-7-10 - Lifted

Original Sapotaweyak water treatment plant located in the wrong place as a cost-efficiency measure

5/30/2021

XENI GWET’IN FIRST NATION

'We've always had clean water', Xeni Gwet'in Chief Lulua


4/22/2021

WASHAGAMIS BAY- BWA issued 2009-12-10 - Lifted

After a 12-year wait, Washagamis Bay community refuses to lift advisory until water is flowing through the pipes

4/22/2021

MINISTIKWAN CREE NATION- BWA issued 2020-03-09 - Lifted

Ministikwan water plant up and running while BWA still on, pipes deteriorate and community grows to distrust its tap water


4/18/2021

EABAMETOONG FIRST NATION- BWA issued 2002-08-01

7,199 days under boil water advisory, Eabametoong plagued with overcrowded housing, mould and fire. Part 1 of 2


4/18/2021

EABAMETOONG FIRST NATION - Part 2

Eabametoong Chief on diesel, sustainable energy, food security and natural resource extraction on treaty land. Part 2 of 2


EABAMETOONG FIRST NATION - Letter

Eabametoong letter to Prime Minister, Ontario Premier and Indigenous Affairs Ministers

4/14/2021

WHITE BEAR FIRST NATION- BWA issued 2011-09-20 - Lifted

End in sight for the 800 people of White Bear First Nation under BWA since 2011


3/25/2021

PETER BALLANTYNE CREE NATION, SK - BWA lifted 2021-03-22

O&M funding unchanged since the 80's. Pipes in such poor shape one repair often turns into multiple repairs down the line


3/23/2021

CHIPPEWAS OF NAWASH UNCEDED NATION, ON - BWA issued 2019/1/21

Nawash water treatment plant deficient since its inception in 1990, with inferior piping and even a garden hose leaking 70% of the treated water into the ground.

3/23/2021

STAR BLANKET CREE NATION, SK - BWA issued 2007/1/10

Star Blanket, SK, 14 years and counting:"We are a patient community, a humble community but at times our people get frustrated themselves"

3/22/2021

LITTLE PINE FIRST NATION, SK - BWA issued 2008/1/10

Collapsed water wells, trucked in water, uncertified operators, Little Pine's long slog to safe drinking water

3/10/2021

GULL BAY FIRST NATION, SK - BWA issued 2010/04/30 - Lifted

Deaf ears, lack of expertise and corruption:
Gull Bay's 20-year battle for clean water,
while moving from dirty diesel to clean energy


3/9/2021

PEEPEEKISIS CREE NATION, SK - BWA issued 2019/11/14

'Rodents and whatnot' in cracked and flood-prone cisterns

3/1/2021

INDIGENOUS SERVICES MINISTER ANTES UP!

Fixing long-term water advisories and overcrowded housing during a pandemic










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