Looking for an Expert on Drinking Water in First Nations Communities? U of G Is the Place
January 25, 2018
Drinking water quality in First Nations communities has come under the media spotlight.
The federal government’s promise to get rid of all drinking water advisories in First Nations communities by March 2021 became a bigger task this week as the number of water systems with long-term drinking water advisories increased. As part of this goal, the government added nearly 250 more drinking water systems to its list of those eligible for funding. While some progress has been made over the past two years, the list of long-term advisories jumped to 91 this week as a result of the additional systems.
Prof. Sherilee Harper says this government initiative needs to engage residents of communities with drinking water advisories in finding solutions. She recently conducted a series of studies along with Inuit communities examining the high incidents of gastrointestinal illness in these areas and the connection to drinking water. She says this research is an example of how engaging residents is integral to developing a solution. Ultimately, she says, research driven by Indigenous peoples can help identify the causes of poor water quality in specific areas and design appropriate interventions.
Harper has expertise on indigenous health as well as ecosystem approaches to health research.
She is available for media interviews.
Prof. Sherilee Harper
Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College