Sixteen First Nations in the riding of Kenora have no access to clean water. What is the federal government doing about it?
THUNDER BAY — On September 12, a pump at the water facility on Neskantaga First Nation broke, plunging the community — which has been under a boil-water advisory since 1994, longer than any other community in the country — into crisis. The supply slowed to a trickle; in some homes, it stopped entirely. The unchlorinated water that did flow was, according to residents, unsafe even for bathing: residents reported headaches, stomach problems, and rashes after contact.
Two days later, the chief and council declared a state of emergency and organized an air evacuation of 219 residents to Thunder Bay, 450 kilometres to the west. “We had to [evacuate] because people were mostly scared.
They’re traumatized already from the water,“ said Neskantaga councillor Allan Moonias. “Mostly everyone in Neskantaga has an illness, and that’s coming from the water. That’s what people have to understand: it’s the water causing our illness.” Continue Reading →