State Of Reserve Water Quality In Province Unclear

Friday, March 24, 2006 at 14:57



Reprentatives of Indian Affairs and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations have differing views on the state of First Nations water quality in Saskatchewan.


This week, the federal government unveiled a strategy that compels Indian bands to follow new standards.


Those standard haven’t been announced yet, but INAC spokesman Trevor Sutter says the province is already in a strong position to act.


He also says none of the 170 bands identified as having serious problems are from Saskatchewan.


Sutter says three northern bands (Hatchet Lake, Fond du Lac, Big Island Lake) are classified as having “medium” water problems, but he maintains that is nothing abnormal.


However, FSIN Vice-Chief Guy Lonechild says he disagrees with the Sutter’s contention that no serious problems exist on Saskatchewan reserves. Lonechild claims five Saskatchewan reserves made the list of 170 problem communities.


Lonechild also isn’t impressed with the government’s new initiative — mainly because there is no new funding tied to it.


Lonechild feels a better solution to this entire issues would be for First Nations to design a strategy themselves.