Neskantaga Makes Difficult Decision to Evacuate

SIOUX LOOKOUT – Chief Chris Moonias and his council and community have made the difficult decision to evacuate Neskantaga. “Disheartening and sad that I have to evacuate the elderly, infants, chronic, and the most vulnerable people due to water issues twice during my short term as Chief especially now during COVID-19 scare,” stated Chief Moonias.

This decision was made likely after Matawa officials went to the community to get water samples for testing. The test will take up to ten days to tell what is causing the problem with the beleaguered water treatment plant.

Chief Moonias adds, “I am told in my meeting with government officials yesterday that having no water is not a health emergency. I wish they can really see what my people is going through. I wish there was a doctor out there that is brave enough to speak out and say there is a health emergency.

175 people will be evacuated to Thunder Bay.

Sol Mamakwa, NDP MPP for Kiiwetinoong, is calling on Doug Ford to make every effort to support the residents of Neskantaga who are being evacuated due to the complete shutdown of all running water.

“Doug Ford must ensure that the provincial government supports the evacuation of elders, children and the most vulnerable in the community who need assistance immediately.

Losing running water to the entire community during COVID-19 is a disaster, and can put the lives of residents at risk.  All services have been shut down due to the public health emergency, including health services and schools.

After 9,393 days (over 25 years) without clean water, the community now has to endure no-water-at-all. What will it take for the Ford government to take action?

Would this be allowed to happen to non-First Nations communities? Are we less than human in the premier’s eyes?

Doug Ford must support the evacuation of  Neskantaga now and then help solve the clean water issue in the community once and for all.”