Canada's Waterless Communities: Neskantaga
In this episode, VICE heads to the remote Neskantaga First Nation in Northern Ontario where after 20 years under a boil water advisory, they have slipped down the federal government's priority list for safe drinking water from four to 19.
Canada has the world's second-largest supply of fresh water, but 169 First Nation communities have limited or no access to it. Nearly a quarter of the First Nations communities administered by Health Canada are currently without clean water. The alerts issued by the federal government range from "boil water advisories" going back more than 20 years to crippling "Do Not Consume" orders.
In part one, VICE went to Shoal Lake 40, a reserve only a few hours from Winnipeg that sits on a manmade island. The lake the reserve sits on supplies Winnipeg's drinking water, but Shoal Lake 40 has been under a boil water advisory for 17 years. In part two, we go to Neskantaga, a remote fly-in where the federal government opts to deliver rations of bottled water to rather than repair the treatment plant that would provide jobs and consistent water. VICE Canada meets with the chiefs, the political negotiators, and the young residents who have spent their whole lives without accessible, clean water.