Indigenous Services Canada has replaced the top federal bureaucrat working with Neskantaga First Nation, which has the longest boil water advisory in the country, during its current state of emergency at the community’s request.
Assistant deputy minister Joanne Wilkinson has taken over from Ontario regional director general Anne Scotton as the liaison between department officials and Neskantaga, a fly-in community about 450 km north of Thunder Bay, Ont.
“Joanne has significant experience in regional operations and is well placed to leverage the resources necessary to complete this work,” senior assistant deputy minister Lynda Clairmont wrote in an email to Chief Chris Moonias late Monday.
“Please know that the entire department remains committed to reconciliation and to the transformative work that we are jointly called upon to do to ensure the health and safety of all Indigenous peoples.”
The chief and council of Neskantaga sent an email to Clairmont on Monday morning calling for the immediate resignation of Anne Scotton, citing an irrevocable loss of trust. In the email, Moonias accused Scotton of conducting her work counter to the basic principles of reconciliation.