The Tale of Yellow Quill
“Yellow Quill is a community some two and a half hours northeast of Saskatoon and I fear for the health of its community members because the tap water is so bad.” – Carla Plotnikoff, Environmental Health Officer for Saskatoon Tribal Council
Yellow Quill First Nation was under a boil water advisory for nine years. Yellow Quill’s water was thought to be untreatable. However, a scientist named Dr. Hans Peterson conducted a 22-month pilot and research project in Yellow Quill, which led to the development of the Integrated Biological and Reverse Osmosis Membrane (IBROM) treatment process. The IBROM treats water to all global guidelines, standards, and regulations, and the water meets World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.
Lesson 2: The Tale of Yellow Quill
Grade: 10-12 (Science, Health, Social Studies)
Topic: The plight of Yellow Quill and how their “untreatable” water was treated to the point of meeting all global guidelines, standards, and regulations, and the water meets World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.
Time: 1 Hour
Space requirement: Classroom
Materials: Smartboard or computer and projector, copies of the worksheet.
Objectives: Students will learn about what was wrong with Yellow Quill’s water, what was attempted to be done about the problem, and how the problem was solved.
Keywords: First Nation, Yellow Quill, Integrated Biological and Reverse Osmosis Membrane (IBROM) Treatment System, Pilot, Boil Water Advisory, Environmental Health Officer, Hydrogen Sulphide, Water Treatment Plant Operator, Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), Backwash, Carcinogen, Particles, Bacteria, Protozoa, Viruses, Sewage Lagoons, Clarification, Granular Filtration, Conventional Water Treatment Processes, Contaminants, Residual Contaminants, Water Reservoir, House of Commons
1. Present the “The Tale of Yellow Quill” PowerPoint presentation to the students. This will include the viewing of a 20-minute video.
2. Ask students what they think about the situation and the solution, have a class discussion.
2. Distribute the “The Tale of Yellow Quill” worksheets to the students. If you want to make completing the worksheets easier for the students, you can put the PowerPoint presentation on the screen in a rotating manner by doing the following:
1. Click on Transitions
2. Change the Advance Slide option to After and enter a number of seconds (perhaps 15 seconds).
3. Click Apply To All
4. Click on Slide Show
5. Click on Set Up Slide Show
6. Under Show options select Loop continuously until ‘Esc’
7. Click OK
8. Click From Beginning
Evaluation: Can be based on their participation in the class discussion as well as their answers to the worksheet questions (see the Tale of Yellow Quill Answer Key for Worksheets).
How Yellow Quill First Nation ended a nine-year boil water advisory. (2015). Retrieved from https://esemag.com/water/yellow-quill-first-nation/.
Video uses animation, storytelling to chronicle Yellow Quill First Nation’s water struggles. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/yellow-quill-first-nation-water-video-sask-uofs-1.4089416
Yellow Quill First Nation. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqGSm8xFR5A