Ring of Fire Updates Uncategorized Weekly News Roundup

December 1-7, 2020: Weekly News Roundup

The Federal government officially renegs on its promise to end all boiled water advisories by March, 2020, indicating that at least 22 will remain in effect past that deadline.

The Feds also announce a $1.5 billion investment to resolve the situation in the long term. Chiefs Moonias from Neskantaga First Nation and Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler indicate their disappointment in the failure to meet the deadline and raise concern that the promised water infrastructure investment, while important in the long term, does not address the issues that several First Nations throughout NAN territory face today.

Over 40 days have passed since Neskantaga First Nation was evacuated due to the water crisis and it is still unclear when they will return to their community, as dates continue to be pushed back. Meanwhile, Wyloo Metals Pty Ltd. becomes a “cornerstone investor” in Noront Resources Ltd.

December 2, 2020 (CBC):

Stuck in a hotel during a Christmas pandemic, Neskantaga members wait for water crisis to end

Members of Neskantaga First Nation have been in Thunder Bay for more than 40 days

“Nine-year-old Bedahbun ‘Bee’ Moonias can’t bring herself to drink the running water in her Thunder Bay, Ont., hotel room. “Since we can’t drink the tap water back in Neskantaga, I’m scared to use the tap water here to drink it,” Moonias said. “So I use water bottles.” Moonias has spent her whole life worrying about the water flowing from her faucets back home in Neskantaga First Nation, a remote fly-in Ontario community about 450 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.” Read more here…

December 2, 2020 (CTV):

Feds break promise to eliminate all drinking water advisories in 2021, vow work will continue

“The federal Liberal government has admitted that its promise to eradicate all drinking water advisories in First Nations communities across Canada by March 2021 will be broken, because “at least” 22 existing drinking water advisories will remain in effect past the promised deadline.

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller provided an update on Wednesday on the government’s longstanding commitment, where he said Indigenous communities have made it clear they don’t want “an Ottawa-imposed deadline,” but rather a sustained, long-term commitment to improve water systems for First Nations people, based on their priorities.” Read more here…

December 3, 2020 (CBC Kids):

Bee Moonias on life without clean drinking water

Deadlines to fix water problems on reserves won’t be met, Canada says

“When you live your whole life without tap water that’s safe to drink, it can start to feel like you’re invisible. That’s how nine-year-old Bedahbun Moonias from Neskantaga First Nation in northern Ontario put it. “Sometimes, I feel like we don’t exist,” she said. “Like we’re just ghosts and we’re just put in a drawer, in a box. We’re suffering in that box with no clean water.”

Bedahbun, who goes by the name Bee, lives in a community with a boil water advisory, which means her tap water has to be boiled before it’s safe to drink. Neskantaga is one of 41 Indigenous communities in Canada that have boil water advisories in place.” Read more here…

December 3, 2020 (CBC):

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief ‘disappointed’ to hear government won’t hit boil water advisory deadline

The federal government previously committed to ending all long-term boil water advisories by March 2021

“The Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) said he was “disappointed” to hear the federal government acknowledge it would not meet the deadline it set for itself to end all long-term boil water advisories in First Nations. The announcement was made on Wednesday by federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller, who instead announced more than $1.5 billion in long-term funding to help build “a sustainable system that ensures that First Nation communities have access to safe drinking water now and for generations to come.”

Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler welcomed the announcement of more money for long-term solutions, but said the announcement still doesn’t address the needs of people today. “It’s disheartening for our communities, including Neskantaga [First Nation]. You know, their members are still here in Thunder Bay at a hotel. We don’t know when the repatriation process will begin. And it’s not just Neskantaga in NAN territory. We have a total of [15] boil water advisories impacting communities, including my own community of Muskrat Dam since 2004,” said Fiddler.” Read more here…

December 4, 2020 (The Toronto Star):

Neskantaga residents wait in limbo more than one month after water crisis evacuation

“The chief of the Neskantaga First Nation hopes residents evacuated from his community over a water crisis will be home in time for Christmas. But as planned dates to fly back to the remote northern Ontario First Nation keep getting postponed, Chief Chris Moonias says it’s hard to stay positive.

“I’m naturally an optimist, but I’m kind of skeptical right now,” Moonias said by phone Friday. “I just hope that my nation, our nation, can go home eventually. Before the holidays.”” Read more here…

December 4, 2020 (Global News):

Neskantaga residents continue to wait for water crisis to end: VIDEO

“After being forced to leave over a month ago, members of Neskantaga First Nation are still waiting to go home. Globe and Mail reporter, Willow Fiddler, provides an update on Canada’s longest-running boil water advisory.”” Watch video here.

December 7, 2020 (Globe Newswire):

Wyloo Metals to purchase cornerstone position in Noront Resources from Resource Capital Fund VLP

“Wyloo Metals Pty Ltd. (Wyloo Metals) has entered into a definitive agreement to become a cornerstone investor in Noront Resources Ltd. (Noront) through the acquisition of all beneficial interests in Noront controlled by Resource Capital Fund V L.P. and its affiliates (RCF).

The deal is Wyloo Metals’ second Canadian investment, and follows several similar strategic investments aimed at supporting the discovery and development of critical commodities required to decarbonise the global economy.” Read more here…

December 7, 2020 (The West Australian):

Andrew Forrest’s Wyloo Metals snaps up second Canadian minerals asset with deal for stake in Noront Resources

Unfortunately this article is behind a paywall. If you have access to The West Australian, the link is here.

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