News Release: Marten Falls First Nation Water Crisis

News Release

Ocotober 28, 2015

 

MARTEN FALLS FIRST NATION WATER DELIVERY HELD HOSTAGE BY GOVERNMENT BILLING PRACTICES

 

It is not hardship enough that Marten Falls First Nation is denied the UN declared right to safe, clean drinking water but now the First Nation cannot afford to fly in bottled water to fulfil the 3.5 litre allotment per person per day funded by Aboriginal and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). The airline will not deliver the water until the First Nation pays up front for the delivery of drinking water to the First Nation. Families at home, children in school and employees at work await drinking water in a community that has been without a delivery of bottled water now for two weeks.

Marten Falls First Nation has been on a boil water advisory issued by Health Canada since 2005 and is required to pay up front for the bottled water from their underfunded budgets and then submit the invoices to Aboriginal and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) on a quarterly basis. The First Nation must then wait for AANDC to process the invoices and issue payment. This puts Marten Falls in a perpetually precarious cash flow situation as evidenced by the water delivery now held hostage by the stringent bureaucratic process.

For ten years, Marten Falls First Nation has been negotiations for a new water plant with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada in its efforts to provide clean safe water for everyday use and drinking to its First Nation members.  A Design Application Request submitted to AANDC in fiscal 2013/2014 to finally begin the process has not received a response from AANDC and the First Nation is at a loss as to the lack of response from the government.

Marten Falls First Nation is committed to ensure its First Nation of its inherent human right to clean and safe drinking water. To that end it calls on the Government of Canada and Ontario to immediately address this inhumane treatment of its First People.

Marten Falls First Nation is a remote community and traditional territory holder known as the “Ring of Fire” and is approximately 173 kilometres north of Nakina, Ontario.

 

For further information contact:

Chief Bruce Achneepineskum 807-349-2509

Linda Moonias, Councillor, Band Manager – 807-349-2509

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