TREATY THREE TERRITORY – Sol Mamakwa (Kiiwetinoong), Deputy Leader of the Ontario NDP and Official Opposition Critic for Indigenous and Treaty Relations issued the following statement in response to the tabling of federal First Nations water legislation:
“Yesterday, the federal government tabled the First Nations Clean Water Act respecting water, source water, drinking water, wastewater and related infrastructure on First Nations lands. Kiiwetinoong has the highest concentration of long-term drinking water advisories across Canada. Of the 26 long term advisories remaining, 13 are found in the Kiiwetinoong riding.
Many First Nations children in Ontario, in Kiiwetinoong and beyond, continue to lack access to clean water, and as a result, they are suffering unnecessary physical and mental health consequences.
Statistics alone do not tell the story of what it’s like to live without access to clean water. There are much larger effects on the physical and mental health of those who live without this basic human right and I hear these stories every day from people living across Kiiwetinoong.
This legislation is one step on a long journey to water justice for the people of Kiiwetinoong who continue to go without access to clean drinking water.
The leadership of affected First Nations rights holders in Ontario must be consulted and heard in any future legislative amendment process. Their lived experiences must be respected.”
List of long- (one year or more) and short-term drinking water advisories on reserves in Kiiwetinoong:
- North Caribou Lake
- Bearskin Lake
- Sandy Lake
- Muskrat Dam
- Fort Severn
- Deer Lake
- North Spirit Lake
- Slate Falls
- Cat Lake
- Lac Seul
- Ojibway Nation of Saugeen