Grades 10-12

Grades 10-12 Lesson 2: The Tale of Yellow Quill

Grades 10-12 Lesson 2: 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.

Grades 10-12 Lesson 3: The Tale of Grassy Narrows

Grades 10-12 Lesson 3: The Tale of Grassy Narrows

“It’s been a devastation of a whole way of life, a whole… culture that we need to rebuild.” – Judy Da Silva, Environmental Health Coordinator for Grassy Narrows
Grassy Narrows is a remote Northwestern Ontario reserve with approximately 1000 residents. Its water supply has been contaminated by mercury for over 50 years. Due to inadequate treatment of surface water and uranium-contaminated well water, there are currently four boil water advisories at Grassy Narrows. The contamination has already had a long-term public health impact on-reserve.

Grades 10-12 Lesson 4: The Tale of Shoal Lake 40

Grades 10-12 Lesson 4: The Tale of Shoal Lake 40

“It’s on the Manitoba-Ontario border, there are two First Nations involved, [the community] is not isolated, just south of the Trans-Canada Highway, it’s complex just getting there geographically, and incredibly complex getting there politically.” – Cuyler Cotton, Co-ordinator for both the Water Servicing and All Weather Road Projects
A century ago, the federal government expropriated land inhabited by the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation for construction of an aqueduct to provide water to the city of Winnipeg. Band members were moved onto a man-made island. Shoal Lake 40 has been under a boil water advisory since February 18, 1997.

Grades 10-12 Lesson 5: The Tale of Saddle Lake Cree Nation

Grades 10-12 Lesson 5: The Tale of Saddle Lake Cree Nation

“I’ve never seen a water supply in such poor shape! The lake is covered with blue greens, which make mats in nearshore areas. Yet this is a drinking water supply for several thousand First Nations people! This is a story that city people need to hear and see. They cannot imagine that we have water problems of this magnitude in Alberta.” – Dr. David Schindler
The community draws its water from Saddle Lake, which has 25-30 ppm of organics, as well as large algal blooms in the summer.

Grades 10-12 Lesson 6: The Tale of Neskantaga

Grades 10-12 Lesson 6: The Tale of Neskantaga

“For more than 20 years we haven’t been able to drink water from our taps or bathe without getting rashes. Water is a basic human right, and it should not have taken this long to provide the people of Neskantaga with access to safe drinking water.” – Neskantaga Chief Wayne Moonias
Neskantaga First Nation in Northern Ontario has the longest-standing drinking water advisory of any First Nation in Canada. Two decades ago, their water-treatment plant (which was then only a couple of years old) broke down – never to run again, and this means that the water could be contaminated with any number of bugs that pose threats to human health. This affects the daily lives of the over 340 residents of this First Nation.