First Nation Water
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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 57 long-term and 25 short-term advisories in Indigenous communities across the country.
In 2005, then Prime Minster Paul Martin pledged $1.6 billion to correct what her called "a 100-year-old problem on reserves". The Trudeau government has invested some $8 billion 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 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).
(click on titles for full interviews)
PETER BALLANTYNE CREE NATION, SK - BWA issued 019-08-20
O&M funding unchanged since the 80's. Pipes in such poor shape one repair often turns into multiple repairs down the line
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.
Star Blanket, SK, 14 years and counting:"We are a patient community, a humble community but at times our people get frustrated themselves"
Collapsed water wells, trucked in water, uncertified operators,
Little Pine's long slog to safe drinking water
Deaf ears, lack of expertise and corruption:
Gull Bay's 20-year battle for clean water,
while moving from dirty diesel to clean energy
'Rodents and whatnot' in cracked and flood-prone cisterns
Fixing long-term water advisories and overcrowded housing during a pandemic
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