Trudeau Vows to End Boil Water Advisories for First Nations across Canada- Five Lessons Learned from One Community’s Success

Posted by admin

on Mar 31, 2016 3:01:54 PM

By: Michael Gillis, Constance Lake First Nation Water Treatment Operator; Councillor Roger Wesley, Constance Lake First Nation; Scott Mackay and Don Richardson, Shared Value Solutions Ltd.

 CLFN_WTP_sign.jpg

The 2016 Canadian federal budget was full of investment promises, including some critical spending for First Nations community health, education, and infrastructure needs.  One of those promises was a vow to end boil water advisories on First Nations reserves across Canada by investing $1.8 billion in operations and maintenance for First Nations water treatment and $141.7 million in on-reserve water monitoring and testing.  It appears the government may guide its specific funding decisions based on a 2011 INAC report

 

However, there are some critical issues and lessons learned that communities who have already dealt with this issue can share. We share the experience and five key lessons learned from one innovative community- Constance Lake First Nation- that turned a long-term State of Emergency related to its drinking water into a springboard for the future.

 

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Topics: First Nations Approaches to Water Management

First Nation Water Innovation: Fighting Bad Water and Winning

Posted by Don Richardson

on Oct 16, 2015 11:47:08 AM

Constance Lake First Nation

Bad Water, Bad Headlines

The CBC News headline from October 15, 2015 reads: 

Bad water: 'Third World' conditions on First Nations in Canada: Two-thirds of First Nations have been under at least 1 water advisory between 2004 and 2014.  According to the article: "two-thirds of all First Nation communities in Canada have been under at least one drinking water advisory at some time in the last decade, a CBC News investigation has revealed. The numbers show that 400 out of 618 First Nations in the country had some kind of water problem between 2004 and 2014."

Fighting Bad Water and Winning

But we know it doesn't have to be this way.  With the right people in the circle, the impossible is possible.  We live in a world where, if they have the right intentions, people in industry and government, and people from towns of all sizes, get together to make amazing things happen – things they couldn’t have dreamed up alone. We live in a world where, if they have the right intentions, people from corporations get together with people in local governments or NGOs to explore innovative ways to do business while enhancing the natural and social environment, and building community.  In particular, we live in a world where Aboriginal and industry partnerships can achieve results that evade siloed government programs.  We live in a world where shared value solutions are possible.

Constance Lake First Nation's Water Innovation Story

Seven years ago, a group of environmental scientists, environmental planners, and water specialists sat down for lunch with the elected leader of a distant community to hear the community’s story of a watershed gone bad, years of contaminated water, and a seemingly permanent boil water advisory affecting the health of families and preventing economic development. The story was not from a Third World community, but from Constance Lake First Nation (CLFN) in northern Ontario.

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Topics: Sustainability Innovation in Ontario, First Nations Approaches to Water Management, Aboriginal Land and Water Stewards

Premier Wynne’s Priorities for Ontario: Water & Environment

Posted by Don Richardson

on Sep 26, 2014 5:32:00 AM

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Topics: B Corporations, Premier Wynne's Mandates, First Nations Approaches to Water Management

Reaching a Boiling Point: First Nations Approaches to Water Management

Posted by Leah Culver

on Aug 18, 2014 5:15:00 PM

First Nations Approaches to Water Management: Seven Lessons Learned

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Topics: First Nations Approaches to Water Management

Five Innovations in First Nation Source Water Protection in Ontario

Posted by Don Richardson

on May 12, 2014 8:42:00 PM

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Topics: First Nations Approaches to Water Management

Call to Action: Neskantaga First Nation - #WithNeskantaga

Posted by Don Richardson

on Apr 25, 2014 7:01:00 PM

 

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Topics: First Nations Approaches to Water Management