Category Archives: Access to Water

On World Water Day, do something to conserve our most precious resource

​March 22 is UN World Water Day, when you can add events in your community to others around the world to appreciate and protect our most precious resource.

February was the warmest month on record and Arctic ice cover is expected to be at an all-time low this year, which means the warming of the Earth will have an effect on water supplies and water quality around the globe.

We’re not running out of water — yet — but climate change is shifting the patterns of water distribution so areas that were once green are drying up, other areas are flooding, monsoon rains are coming at different times of the year and glaciers continue to vanish at alarming rates.

But there is much that can be done to conserve water, and a lot of it has to do with consumption. Read more

Shoal Lake 40 First Nation’s Freedom Road a path to reconciliation

Shoal Lake 40 First Nation is finally getting road access to the community after three levels of government announced $30 million in funding Thursday.
By building a road to the isolated First Nation, on the Ontario/Manitoba border, three levels of government are building a path to reconciliation, said the reserve’s chief, Erwin Redsky.
He made the observation on Thursday morning at the Manitoba’s legislative building, where key players gathered to share their thoughts and plans to build what has come to be called Freedom Road; a 24-kilometre stretch that will connect Shoal Lake 40 First Nation to the Trans-Canada Highway.
The community was left isolated a century ago by construction of the intake for Winnipeg’s water system, and has no clean drinking water of its own.  Read more

Shoal Lake 40 bringing case to United Nations after decades under boil-water advisory

A reserve cut off from the mainland and under a boil-water advisory for almost two decades is taking its case to the United Nations.

Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, which straddles the Manitoba-Ontario boundary, became isolated a century ago during construction of an aqueduct which carries water to Winnipeg. The reserve has no all-weather road and has been without clean water for 17 years.

A delegation from the reserve is expected to travel to Geneva, Switzerland, in February to make its case to a United Nations committee on economic, social and cultural rights.

The First Nation is also part of a worldwide investigation by Human Rights Watch. That review is to be presented to the same UN committee reviewing Canada’s human rights record.

Chief Erwin Redsky said his delegation will outline “all the human rights violations we suffer daily,” including a lack of clean water, no freedom of movement and inadequate health care and education. Read more

Campaign to help isolated Shoal Lake 40 First Nation intensifies

The campaign to help an isolated reserve that has been without clean water for almost two decades is intensifying as churches and musicians join leaders of Canada’s opposition parties in a call for action.

Shoal Lake 40 First Nation — which straddles the Ontario-Manitoba boundary — was cut off from the mainland a century ago when an aqueduct was built to supply fresh water to Winnipeg. The reserve has no all-weather road and has been under one of the longest boil-water advisories in Canada.

A multi-faith group in Winnipeg is kicking off 10 days of action in support of the reserve on Friday.

Lynda Trono, community minister with West Broadway Community Ministry, said people are appalled the federal government has refused to help fund construction of a much-needed road.

“We really are outraged by this refusal of the federal government to recognize a human right for an indigenous community,” she said. “I’m still in disbelief about how you can apologize to First Nations, go through a truth and reconciliation process and then deny a community access to fresh water with a road.” Read more