The students will be able to evaluate the drinking water situation that is common on Canadian First Nation Communities and reserves. They will discuss the responsibility of the government for ensuring the safety of drinking water. The students will be able to determine if there is an element of racism in the government’s handling of the drinking water situation on reserves.
In 1996, Environment Canada issued a State of the Environment Report. In this report, it was found that 20-40% of rural wells may be affected by fecal coliform bacteria and nitrate contamination, among other indicators of poor water quality. When a community is found to have unsafe drinking water, that community is usually issued a boil water advisory until the problem has been fixed. The Yellow Quill First Nation in Saskatchewan has been on a boil water advisory for nine years, since 1995.