Without Running Water Part 1 • SAMAQAN: Water Stories (Series 3)

Without Running Water Part 1 • SAMAQAN: Water Stories (Series 3)

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Running water is taken for granted in Canada, yet Oji-Cree people in over  1400 homes 600 km north of Winnipeg live without it. Situated on Island Lake, the sixth largest lake in Manitoba, the absence of running water denies them fire protection. It creates daily challenges for cooking and maintaining adequate levels of sanitation. The result was unacceptably high levels of H1N1 flu during the epidemic of 2009.

First Nations residents in Wasagamack share their struggles to keep a basic standard of health and cleanliness. The Winnipeg reporter who first brought their story to the attention of the public shares his dismay that a majority of Canadians would expect to have running water themselves while northerners are denied this basic necessity. In 2010 the United Nations declared clean water and sanitation a basic human right. When UN members were asked to sign on to this declaration, Canada’s Prime Minister abstained from the vote. This leaves those affected wondering about Canada's lack of political will to change third-world living conditions in its own back yard.

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