Canada | Opinion

Carly McIntosh: First Nations get little help with water problems






The Neskantaga First Nation in Ontario has been under a boil water advisory for 20 years. Photo by Matawa First Nations

Carly McIntosh wonders why the Canadian government has failed to address long-standing water problems among First Nations in Ontario and British Columbia:
Imagine every morning having to set a full pot of tap water on your stove and continuing to wait for it to boil just to be able to drink it. As a parent it would be a set demand in your daily schedule. Having to live with this issue for over twenty years, it would become your normal style of daily living.

In the north of Ontario, Neskantaga First Nation has been living with this issue for twenty-one straight years. In all of Canada, Neskantaga First Nation has been under the longest running water advisory in history and still running. Neskantaga First Nation's Chief Wayne Moonias has been fighting the Canadian Government constantly on making First Nation's health a top issue in Canada. The Canadian Government has been seen to deal with other political issues instead of giving the time to fight and stop a life-threatening issue.

In 1993 a water treatment plant was built by the Government of Canada, but Chief Wayne Moonias noticed problems were happening with the plant in just seconds. Now it is 2016 and with the fail in Canadian Government, Neskantaga First Nation is still having to deal with this deadly issue. Last year the children on Neskantaga First Nation were developing skin sores all over their body and increase in regularity and severity. Having low chances in seeing doctors and nurses, Neskantaga First Nations did not receive the proper diagnosis.

For many years First Nations have been trying to transport bottled water to their Territories, but through our long Canadian winters the bottled water does not get delivered. The highways and roads get overly covered in snow making it impossible for vehicles to get through.

Read More:
Carly McIntosh: The Deadly Waters in the Northern First Nations (Indian Country Today 8/30)

Another Opinion:
Amanda Klasing: Why is Canada denying its indigenous peoples clean water? (The Daily Globe and Mail 8/30)