This First Nation Is Still Under Boil-Water Advisory After 21 Years
This First Nation Is Still Under Boil-Water Advisory After 21 Years.
Neskantaga First Nation in Ontario has had to boil water since 1995.
According to a 2015 CBC investigation, "Two-thirds of all First Nation communities in Canada have been under at least one drinking water advisory at some time in the last decade."
Water on First Nations reserves is a federal responsibility, but "severe underfunding" (in the government’s own words) for water treatment plants, infrastructure, operations, maintenance and training has led to this deplorable situation.
Canada has no federal standards or binding regulations governing First Nations’ drinking water.
If the federal government is to fulfill its commitment to ending advisories in five years, it must reform its system.
And in one community that had its advisory lifted, new drinking water problems emerged, illustrating the need for sustainable, long-term solutions.
It calls on government to redouble its efforts to advance First Nations-led initiatives, fulfill its fiduciary responsibility to First Nations, respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ensure the human right to safe and clean drinking water.
The federally funded Safe Water Project is one example of a First Nations–led approach.
Clean drinking water on reserves is not just an Indigenous issue.