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Lack of safe water on Canada's reserves

Photo: imekinox/Flickr
As many as one in three First Nation reserves in Canada have been found to lack safe water.

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Access to water on Canada's reserves

Photo: imekinox/Flickr

Fresh water. Canada has more of it than almost any other country on Earth. According to the United Nations Development Program, over 99.8 per cent of Canadians have access to pure drinking water and safe sanitation.

But try telling that to Mike Gull. "Our water smells like raw sewage right now," says Gull, head of the water treatment program at Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario. "It's very septic. There's lots of bad stuff in here, lots of dead organic matter."

Chief Connie Gray-McKay of Mishkeegogamang First Nation, 500 km northwest of Thunder Bay, has similar concerns. "Our water smells like iron and magnesium. People have allergic reactions to it, and their laundry turns yellow."

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