Sit-In Underway at Queens Park For Neskantaga

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Neskantaga
The airport in Neskantaga where signs are posted

QUEEN’S PARK — “Water is a basic human right, but the Ford government keeps ignoring the apartheid system of clean water access for First Nations people in Ontario,” said Mamakwa. “Every Ontarian knows Doug Ford would never neglect and dismiss a community like Etobicoke North this way.

Members of Neskantaga First Nation are staging a sit-in at Queen’s Park to demand Doug Ford stop ignoring the people of Neskantaga, and provide critical, life-saving support to meet the ongoing public health crisis they are facing.

Sol Mamakwa, MPP for Kiiwetinoong and NDP Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation critic, hosted Neskantaga community members Lawrence Sakanee and Alex Moonias for a Tuesday morning press conference. Neskantaga Chief Chris Moonias joined via Zoom, along with community members Renita Moonias and Marilyn Waswa. Both Sakanee and Alex Moonias traveled over 1,100 km to Queen’s Park to call on the Ford government to bring running water back to their community, now.

“Every day Doug Ford does nothing to fix this crisis is another day he makes the shameful choice to put the health and lives of Neskantaga’s community members at risk.”

Day 9407 of Boil Water Advisory

Neskantaga has been under a boil advisory for over 25 years. Over two weeks ago, dangerous hydrocarbons were found in the local water reservoir, forcing the evacuation of the entire community. The Ford government has so far taken no action to help the community or the 230 people who live there.

The NDP says that “In fact, Doug Ford slashed 80 percent of the budget for Ontario’s Indigenous Drinking Water Program, walking away from any potential efforts to invest in infrastructure for clean drinking water in Neskantaga and other First Nations that need it”.