(Toronto, March 22, 2019) Today, Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald is commemorating the 26th annual World Water Day along side First Nations leadership in Ontario. This year’s theme “Water for All” is quintessential to recognizing the inherent rights and responsibility to protect the waterways within Canada, and ensuring that First Nations are receiving the same access to clean water as enjoyed by the average Canadian.
As of March 2019, 81 long term drinking water advisories have been lifted across Canada, however with those decreases, many new advisories have been added as well, making the current total at 59. “Although we have been seeing major gaps within the implementation of eliminating all boil water advisories, we are confident that with the Federal Budget 2019 proposal to invest $1B over five years to improve essential services on-reserve, such as clean drinking water and a additional hundreds of millions ongoing dedicated to this important cause, we can make significant progress.” said Regional Chief Archibald. “With the appropriate research and dialogue between communities, experts and elders, we can move forward and focus on the co-creation of a dependable water supply.”
Many First Nations continue to deal with unsafe drinking water and inadequate sanitation. The Ontario region in particular continues to face high numbers of long-term drinking water advisories. “We continue to advocate for access to safe water and proper sanitation as it is our human right and it’s essential in order to build healthy communities,” said Regional Chief Archibald. “We know the solutions required for our communities. First Nations require adequate and sustained financial resources to develop capacity and skills, operations and maintenance funded at 100%, new and/or upgrades to outdated and aging water and wastewater infrastructure, and effective federal Safe Drinking Water Legislation co-developed in true partnership with First Nations.”
“On World Water Day, I would also like to celebrate the life a great advocate and role model, Josephine Mandamin. Originally from Wiikwemkoong Unceded First Nation, Grandmother Josephine was known as the co-founder of the Mother Earth Water Walk. She spent countless hours devoted to walking the great lakes and raising awareness about our sacred responsibility to conserve and protect our Nibi. Josephine had a sacred calling and it is important that we continue her important work and move forward her vision of protecting and maintaining our water to ensure a better future for our next generations. We need to remind ourselves that our current water use needs, actions and activities should never compromise future generation’s ability to meet their own water needs.”
Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald
For more information on World Water Day, please click the following links:
The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.
Media Contact: Scott Cavan, Scott.Cavan@coo.org or cell: 416-522-0706
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