Two Indigenous groups in the Atlantic region, the Mi'kmaq and Wolastoqiyik, are pitching a First Nations owned water authority to the federal government and First Nations. "We want to be able, at the end of the day, to turn on the tap and drink a glass of water," said Pictou Landing First Nation Chief Andrea Paul, one of the three current board members for the Atlantic First Nations Water Authority (AFNWA). "Some communities can't do that," she said.
An abrupt downturn in an already poor water-quality situation in a northwestern Ontario Indigenous community poses more of a safety risk than the federal government is willing to acknowledge, representatives of the First Nation said Wednesday as they called for help covering the cost of evacuating the community. Most of the 250 residents of the Neskantaga First Nation, a member of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, flew out of the community on the weekend after untreated water began flowing from local taps and water pressure tapered off dramatically.
It's been one month since Attawapiskat First Nation declared a state of emergency over its poor water quality. The measure was taken in the northern Ontario community due to high levels of trihalomethane (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) in the water the residents use for bathing and cooking. The fly-in community has a separate system for its drinking water.
The taps to Winnipeg's drinking water were first turned on in April 1919, but as the city celebrated its engineering feat and raised glasses of that clear liquid, another community's fortunes suddenly turned dark. Construction of a new aqueduct plunged Shoal Lake 40 into a forced isolation that it is only now emerging from, 100 years after Winnipeg's politicians locked their sights on the water that cradles the First Nation at the Manitoba–Ontario border. "The price that our community has paid for one community to benefit from that resource, it's just mind-boggling," said Shoal Lake 40 Chief Erwin Redsky.
Water is something most Canadians take for granted. We have so much of it, it's no wonder. Per capita, our country has the world's third-largest freshwater reserves, but yet in many Indigenous communities, water can be difficult to access, at-risk because of unreliable treatment systems, or contaminated. That's the case in Delaware First Nation, an Indigenous community of about 500 people an hour southwest of London, Ont., a place where fishing was everything 60 years ago.
The federal government has announced $7.2M in funding to connect Wauzhushk Onigum to the City of Kenora's water system. The announcement was long-awaited, with part of the community just south of Kenora, Ont., on a boil-water advisory since 2012. Another portion of Wauzhushk Onigum had its water treatment facility rebuilt in 2017. MP Bob Nault made the announcement on behalf of Jane Philpott, the Minister of Indigenous Services.
Today, Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, visited Kehewin Cree Nation and congratulated Chief Brenda Vanguardand the entire community on the official sod turning for their new water treatment system. This new water treatment system is critical to the community's efforts to lift their long-term drinking water advisory.
A ground-breaking ceremony was held in Kelowna today for a multi-million dollar project that will improve water quality in the city’s southeast district. The multi-year project involves separating agricultural and domestic systems in southeast Kelowna and providing a sustainable water supply for agriculture in South Mission. The federal government is providing $26.45 million while the provincial government is providing $17.457 million for the project through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund. The City of Kelowna says its costs will be $19.1 million.