New Proposed Safe Drinking Water Legislation Will Not Meet The Needs Of First Nations
Friday, 28 May 2010
(Saskatoon, SK) FSIN Vice Chief Lyle Whitefish says proposed new legislation for safe drinking water does not address the current lack of funding for First Nation drinking water infrastructure. In its current form Bill S-11 also places too much responsibility on First Nation Chiefs and Councils without providing adequate resources to meet the objectives of the proposed legislation.“Here is another example of what happens when a government fails its duty to consult obligation. The Federal Government held minimal discussions with First Nations in the development of this proposed safe drinking water legislation,” says Vice Chief Whitefish. “First Nations are concerned with areas of the Bill that give way to Provincial drinking water standards. These standards are not high enough. Our people have the right to have safe clean drinking water.”
There are 114 First Nation communities across Canada under drinking water advisories. In Saskatchewan there are 14 boil water advisories on 12 First Nation communities.
“First Nations pride themselves on having higher water standards than other jurisdictions. That’s why we want funding to develop our own legislation and standards that are acceptable for safe drinking water that ensures the health of our people,” says Vice Chief Whitefish.
The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. The Federation is committed to honouring the spirit and intent of Treaty, as well as the promotion, protection and implementation of the Treaty promises that were made more than a century ago.