In collaboration with Indigenous communities and in the spirit of reconciliation, PSAC launched its second campaign to demand safe, clean, water for all during this year's National Convention.
Despite repeated promises dating back to 2015 from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to end long-term water advisories by 2021, the government has failed to meet the deadline, and many First Nations continue to have unreliable access to clean, safe water.
PSAC first launched the Thirsty for Justice campaign in 2016 in partnership with Grassy Narrows, a community whose water supply has been contaminated with mercury and other pollutants for more than fifty years. Since then, all of the population has been harmed by mercury poisoning and, in fact, Grassy Narrows community leader Steve Fobister and his father, former chief Simon Fobister Sr., both of whom were featured in the 2016 video, died of mercury poisoning.
Corporate pollution, inadequate filtration and repair, and environmental factors all result in hundreds of thousands of people being exposed to unsafe or even poisoned water supplies.
“In the last 10 years, we've had so many boil water advisories, people have learned not to trust tap water. Anishnaabe people are fighting to survive,” says Judy Da Silva, a Grassy Narrows mother and grandmother who is featured in the video. “The government must make better decisions to protect water. They approve permits and make decisions about industry operating in our territory.”
Grassy Narrows is only one of hundreds of communities in Canada that don’t have access to safe, clean, water and most of them are Indigenous communities or on First Nations Reserves.
Still Thirsty for Justice, begins where our first campaign left off, visiting the communities of Grassy Narrows and Samson Cree, and broadening the picture of how the water crisis is impacting many others across Canada and the First Nations – including PSAC members.
Enough is enough.