“The report released today is shocking in that it reveals the quality of drinking water in First Nation communities is even worse than anticipated,” said the National Chief. “More than half the water systems our people are using are risky systems. While First Nations have been calling attention to this matter for years, today’s report should spark swift and urgent action to ensure the health and safety of our people. Other Canadians would not tolerate this situation in their communities and we must not tolerate it in First Nation communities.” Assembly of First NationsResults for Alberta from Statistics Canada
Contamination of Aboriginal Water is a Human Rights issue. They own the land. They must have water rights and water treatment plants that ensure healthy living on that land. To neglect this fact is a sure method to extinguish the number of peoples who can live on reserves. The government has for years walked away from water treatment projects by saying that there are no roads to access in order to build the plants. Whereas there are no such excuses for not continuing to drill and push huge hulking machinery into the remotest regions of the Yukon in pursuit of minerals.
As anti fracking communities are gaining traction in the US with help of the EPA, shouldn't it now be time for investment into the north with Environment Canada water standards, water treatment, clean water standards and followup with action? And shouldn't environmental lawyers be lining up in droves to support Aboriginal water claims pro bono to fight for Aboriginal ownership of water on their land?
Read Turtle Island News for the latest points of view from communities opposing such inaction and for true reporting from an Aboriginal perspective.