Following the removal of the Ministry of Indigenous Services regional coordinator general, Anne Scotton, Chief Moonias and Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug Chief Donny Morris call for an independent investigation into her role in relation to the ongoing Neskantaga water crisis.
Meanwhile, academics argue that the federal government’s focus on the elimination of long-term drinking-water advisories is too narrow and should consider the impacts of “short-term advisories, lack of running water, as well as the anticipated effects of climate change on drinking water.”
November 26, 2020 (CBC):
First Nation asks Indigenous Services minister to launch investigation into top bureaucreat’s behaviour
Grand chiefs says federal government should reconsider Ontario regional director general’s position
“A First Nation that has been living under a boil-water advisory for 25 years is asking Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller to launch an investigation into his top Ontario bureaucrat’s behaviour and the provincial office’s management. Anne Scotton was replaced as the top department bureaucrat working with Neskantaga First Nation on its current state of emergency after Chief Chris Moonias called for her immediate resignation, citing an irrevocable loss of trust.
On Monday, the department’s senior assistant deputy minister Lynda Clairmont replaced Scotton on the file with assistant deputy minister Joanne Wilkinson, but Moonias said he isn’t satisfied.” Read more here…
November 26, 2020 (CBC):
Neskantaga First Nation fights for end to 25-year boil water advisory: VIDEO
“The Neskantaga First Nation, which has been under a boil-water advisory for 25 years, is at odds with the government over its state of emergency, which required most residents to leave the reserve.” Watch video here.
November 26, 2020 (The Conversation):
Water crisis in First Nations communities runs deeper than long-term drinking water advisories
“An end to long-term advisories would be marked progress towards addressing these historic issues. But the federal government’s decision to choose long-term advisories as the measure for clean drinking water on First Nations reserves is faulty. Long-term advisory statistics are more of a policy performance measure than a true indicator of First Nations water security and well-being. The focus on eliminating long-term on-reserve drinking-water advisories diverts attention from the equally devastating impacts of short-term advisories, lack of running water, as well as the anticipated effects of climate change on drinking water quality.
As a former advisor on water quality and infrastructure for a federal department, I now research barriers that keep First Nations communities from accessing safe water. That a new hazard forced Neskantaga’s evacuation while engineers are addressing historic ones underscores the need to examine drinking-water risks holistically.” Read more here…
November 30, 2020 (The Hill Times):
Something is afoot in the Indigenous world
Back in 2015, a campaigning Justin Trudeau promised that he would end all long-term boil water advisories on reserves across Canada within five years. He has had the five years, and nothing has changed on Neskantaga First Nation. Twenty-five years after the boil-water advisory came into force, it is still in place.
Unfortunately this article is blocked by a paywall. If you have access to The Hill Times, the link is here.