Posted by: Vicki Burns | November 3, 2010

No Running Water – Some Manitoba First Nations Communities Lack the Most Basic Water and Sanitation

The Winnipeg Free Press is running a series about the appalling lack of basic infrastructure in some First Nation communities in Manitoba. No running water, no  sewage systems –things that most of us take for granted are still not available in many of our northern communities.
 I started my professional career over 35 years ago working for Medical Services, a federal health program that provided nursing stations and health care to all the First Nation communities in Manitoba. I had the opportunity to fly to many of the remote communities in Manitoba and was amazed to see the rudimentary conditions that people were living in back then. Coming from a middle class, comfortable upbringing in Winnipeg, it was quite an eye-opener to see how  people were living in these remote places.
I find it incredible to think that there has been so little progress  over the past 35 years in providing the most basic necessities of life in some of our northern communities. When you think of the tremendous changes that have happened in terms of new technology, computers, the internet, etc. it seems even less understandable that there has not been the will or the resources to provide the basics like clean water and safe sewage systems.
I’m glad the Free Press is taking the lid of some of these issues to expose the  poor conditions and I hope that collectively we, Canadians, will insist on ensuring the basics like water and sanitary services are provided in our communities.

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