Access 2 Clean Water
Superior Dreams Inc Canada
Access 2 Clean Water is an initiative brought on by the on-going First Nation’s water crisis. Currently, there are at least 97 long-term water boil advisories in 81 First Nation communities across Canada. We plan to bring nation-wide awareness to this issue by running from Vancouver, BC to Ottawa, ON to let people know of the injustice that the people of this land face. Along the run, we aim to connect with First Nations communities to work alongside them to bring them access to clean water.
April 10th 2017
This initiative will be accomplished in three phases:
Phase 1 - Spread awareness of the water crisis by running across Canada
Phase 2 - Initiate partnerships with First Nations organizations and community groups during and after the run
Phase 3 - Pursue research to build a water plant*
After Phase 1 and 2, we aim to formulate a sustainable plan for the communities currently under “Do Not Consume” and “Water Boil” Advisories. This includes, and is not limited to, partnering with current post-secondary institutions to send students to gather data on current living situations, the land’s terrain status and it’s potential for new infrastructure, and whether a water plant can help enhance the lives of the residents.
This research will be formulated into another proposal that will include a blueprint for the new water plant, all costs associated with this project, and research showcasing improvement to the livelihood of those affected by the crisis. Current targeted programs are, but not limited to, Civil, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineering, Water Resource Management, Psychology, Public Health and Nursing.
*None of this can be accomplished without the consent of the communities themselves. For this task, our goal is to partner with pre-existing organizations such as the Assembly of First Nations or the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, and other organizations passionate towards the cause in addition to the people of the communities that have been affected.
Where will the $23,000 go?
The money raised from this GoFundMe campaign will be used for the operational costs of launching and maintaining this initiative. The budget is outlined in the picture below and feel free to sponsor items of your choice. Please also include your information during the donation process if you would like a shoutout from the runner. The reason for setting the campaign amount to $23,000 is because of the fees GoFundMe has in place and other emergency costs that might occur during the whole initiative.
Not having access to clean water isn't something new. Unfortunately, it has existed in the lives of many First Nations people for decades, if not longer. Some communities have been on a “Water Boil Advisory” for more than 20 years! Imagine if you came back from a long day’s of hard work, got home, and realize that you had not boiled water earlier that day – and now, you have to wait about 15 minutes to get the water boiling so you can finally quench your thirst. If you’re lucky, you would have some ice cubes in the fridge – to make that warm water cool – but if you had forgotten that task too, you’re out of luck.
Yes, it is hard to imagine something like that happening in Canada. Living in glorified cities such as Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver, or even small towns like Fort McMury or Kenora, it is inconceivable. It’s hard to imagine what life would be like where one would open their tap, and find either dirty water or water that is not consumable. The population fortunate to live in areas that allow them to have instant access to unlimited... yes, unlimited clean, running water - is truly a blessing.
Under the Canadian government, individual territorial governments are responsible for safe drinking water in all communities including First Nations and Inuit communities. Responsibility for providing water and wastewater services to First Nations is shared among band councils, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Health Canada and Environment Canada. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada provides funding and advice on water facilities and sets standards and protocols. According to “Guidelines for Canadian drinking water quality”, Health Canada works with First Nation communities by providing scientific support and expertise.
A major role of Health Canada is to provide First Nation communities with the knowledge to monitor their own water by providing funding to Chief and Councils in community-based water programs. An advantage in having communities test their own water is that these communities can test for microbiological contamination frequently.
Health Canada trains community members to sample and test drinking water for contamination and if an Environmental Health Officer deems the water as contaminated, Chief and Councils are notified to issue boil water advisories. Under ideal circumstances, Health Canada would be responsible for reviewing plans for new water treatment plants from a public health perspective and assist First Nations in siting development. However, there is no monitoring on what type of training is provided and where the funding is allocated. As of October 31, 2016, there are 133 drinking water advisories in effect in 90 First Nations communities across Canada, excluding British Columbia. It is ultimately up to governments to ensure citizens have access to basic necessities. That's what taxes are intended for. The government of Canada, through complex history, legislation and funding, has specific responsibilities for First Nation communities. They have had many years of information, experience, and opportunities to prevent or provide remediation for the water situation but, they have failed miserably when it comes to aboriginal people.
Having access to clean, running water has more benefits than just being able to drink on will. It allows us to bathe, wash our dishes, and make our food. Therefore, not only is running water essential for keeping ourselves hydrated, but a key ingredient in our cleanliness, meal preparation, and livelihoods.
For more information about the runner or the initiative, feel free to visit our website at www.a2cw.org
- Rob Van Wyck
- Tracey Prentice
- Marit Quist Corbett
Organizer and beneficiary
East York, ON