Water is life.

It is universally understood that life cannot be sustained without water. The United Nations has definitively identified humans’ right to water and sanitation, and “that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights.”

Despite Canada being one of the most water-rich countries in the world, 144 First Nation communities do not have safe, clean drinking water.

“The problem is inequality and institutionalized discrimination that ensures that settler communities get essential services while Indigenous communities do not.”Linda Redsky, Shoal Lake 40 First Nation

Impact

Some First Nations communities have been under drinking water or boil water advisories for years. Some communities even need to delcare a state of emergency. Neskantaga First Nation in Ontario has been under a boil water advisory since 1995, and no permanent resolution is forthcoming.

This is the reality for many First Nations communities who are in dire need of upgraded and updated water systems infrastructure. Without access to fresh water communities cannot drink or bathe. Living under these conditions causes a litany of health issues including skin conditions and diseases, bacterial infections, serious long-term health effects, and increased risk of cancer.

Long-term Solutions

First Nations communities need long-term, sustainable solutions for water sanitation and conditions on reserves. While short-term funding and donations are helpful, it also permits the water crisis to persist in First Nation communities.

Read the report by the Human Rights Watch to learn more about the First Nations water crisis. Help raise awareness by following us on Facebook and spreading the word.

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