Blog Archives

Clean your water bottle: study finds bacteria in water storage containers

Water-Bottles-1000-x-560APTN National News, August 7, 2017

Researchers studying higher rates of gastrointestinal illness in Inuit communities have a message for all Canadians: wash your water bottles and storage containers.

“People don’t really think about it,” said Sherilee Harper, co-author of the study recently published in the journal “Environmental Science and Pollution Research.” Read the rest of this entry

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Contamination forces Ontario First Nation to close school, fly in bottled water

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Community members unload boxes of bottled water in Weagamow First Nation, located in northern Ontario. Photo: CBC News

Weagamow First Nation dealing with water crisis for a week now

By Martha Troian, CBC News, November 14, 2016

People in a northern Ontario First Nation are in crisis mode after the community’s drinking water was contaminated because of broken pipes, forcing bottled water to be flown in and the school to be closed for over a week.  Read the rest of this entry

First Nations teen solves remote community’s drinking water problems

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Quentin Rae, 19, tests at water sample at the North Spirit Lake First Nation in his new role as water plant operator. (Jody Porter/CBC)

He just graduated from high school, now this teen is running the water plant in North Spirit Lake

By Jody Porter, CBC News, May 3, 2016

A 19-year-old from North Spirit Lake First Nation is the key to solving a boil water advisory in place in his community for nearly as long as he has been alive.

The remote First Nation, about 800 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay, Ont., has been under a boil water advisory for 14 years. Read the rest of this entry

Neskantaga First Nation in 3rd year of state of emergency over suicides

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Children from Neskantaga First Nation greet Carolyn Bennett, minister of indigenous affairs, at the airport in the northern Ontario community on Friday, april 15, 2016. (Jody Porter/CBC)

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett explores conditions in remote community

By Jody Porter, CBC News, April 16, 2016

The chief of Neskantaga First Nation in northern Ontario says he is not lifting a state of emergency over suicides that was issued after four suicides in  2013 until the root causes of the crisis are addressed.

Chief Wayne Moonias made the remarks on Friday during a visit to his community by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett. Read the rest of this entry

Dozens more Kashechewan children suffering with skin lesions to be evacuated

kashechewan-baby-skin-infections

A former chief is calling for water testing in Kashechewan to rule it out as the cause of his niece’s skin lesions. Derek Stephen posted photos on social media of the angry-looking bumps and rashes on the girl’s legs and face. This baby is now receiving medical treatment in Timmins. (Derek Stephen/Facebook)

Former chief Derek Stephen says his infant niece survived open heart surgery in Ottawa just two months ago

by CBC News, March 21, 2016

Three children have been evacuated from Kashechewan First Nation, including a five-month old recovering from open-heart surgery, to get badly-needed medical help.

A total of 16 children with acute cases of skin infection have been identified for immediate help, said Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus. Read the rest of this entry

Bad water in First Nations leads to high rate of invasive infection, doctor says

Three and a half year-old Hailey Sakanee takes a sip of water. Her community, Neskantaga First Nation, has been under a water advisory for two decades. (CBC)

Three and a half year-old Hailey Sakanee takes a sip of water. Her community, Neskantaga First Nation, has been under a water advisory for two decades. (CBC)

‘Poverty kills,’ says Dr. Mike Kirlew, who studied invasive MRSA infections north of Sioux Lookout

By Jody Porter, CBC News, Oct 26, 2015

Bad water and inadequate housing is leading to a “dramatic increase in invasive disease” in First Nations north of Sioux Lookout, Ont., according to research published in the Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine.

Northwestern Ontario, home to 10 remote First Nations that haven’t had safe tap water in more than a decade, is seeing one of the highest rates of community-associated MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) in Canada, the study said. Read the rest of this entry

Shoal Lake 40 First Nation taking its case to UN

Community elder Grace Redsky from Shoal Lake 40 First Nation performed a water healing ceremony at a man-made channel made to support Winnipeg's water system which has cut them off from the mainland Thursday, June 25, 2015. (John Woods / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Community elder Grace Redsky from Shoal Lake 40 First Nation performed a water healing ceremony at a man-made channel made to support Winnipeg’s water system which has cut them off from the mainland Thursday, June 25, 2015. (John Woods / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

by Chinta Puxley, The Canadian Press/CTV News, October 5, 2015

WINNIPEG — A reserve cut off from the mainland and under a boil-water advisory for almost two decades is taking its case to the United Nations.

Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, which straddles the Manitoba-Ontario boundary, became isolated a century ago during construction of an aqueduct which carries water to Winnipeg. The reserve has no all-weather road and has been without clean water for 17 years. Read the rest of this entry

Grassy Narrows toxic tap water not fixed by boiling, expert says

A reaction between natural occurring chemicals in the surface water at Grassy Narrows and the chemicals used in the water treatment plant is creating toxic results in the tap water. (Jody Porter/CBC)

A reaction between natural occurring chemicals in the surface water at Grassy Narrows and the chemicals used in the water treatment plant is creating toxic results in the tap water. (Jody Porter/CBC)

No safe level for human consumption of chemicals found in First Nations’ tap water

By Jody Porter, CBC News, Sept 2, 2015

A biology professor who specializes in water quality and human health says the chemicals found in drinking water at a northern Ontario First Nation are “disturbing.”

Grassy Narrows (Asubpeeschoseewagong) First Nation, located about 100 kilometres north of Kenora, Ont., declared a state of emergency last week amid growing concerns about the disinfectant by-products found in the community’s tap water. Read the rest of this entry

Alberta First Nations sue Ottawa over safe drinking water

Drinking-waterThe Canadian Press, June 16, 2014

Four Alberta First Nations have filed a lawsuit against the federal government in an effort to resolve long-standing
drinking water problems.

“We just want equality,” said Chief Jim Badger of the Sucker Creek First Nation, where water lines are tainted by poorly designed sewers. As well, cisterns are so inadequate that dead mice float in them, Badger said.

“All we’re asking for is equality with what other, white people, have, that Indians are not allowed to have.”

The court action – filed by the Tsu T’ina, Ermineskin, Sucker Creek and Blood First Nations  – asks Federal Court to force Ottawa to upgrade their water systems, provide ongoing support to keep them operating safely and to refund money the bands say the government has saved over the years by not doing so. Read the rest of this entry