Today on National Aboriginal Day, the Public of Service Alliance of Canada has partnered with the community of Grassy Narrows to launch a campaign demanding safe drinking water in First Nations communities.
“Access to clean and safe water is a basic human right,” says Robyn Benson, National President of PSAC. “It’s appalling that in 2016, so many First Nations communities are forced to boil their water or drink from a bottle.”
The #ThirstyforJustice campaign video was developed in collaboration with an award-winning documentary filmmaker and focuses on the community of Grassy Narrows.
The river water has been contaminated by mercury for over 40 years and the tap water is not safe to drink. Grassy Narrows is only one of more than 100 First Nations communities that do not have access to safe water for drinking, cooking and bathing.
“Our people are a river people. Historically, they lived from the water,” says Judy DaSilva, a Grassy Narrows community activist and International Peace Prize winner who is featured in the video. “It’s like a genocide of our people. Many have died from the mercury poisoning and today people are still dying.”
“It’s hard to imagine something we have cherished and honoured for the last ten thousand years can turn against us,” says Steve Fobister, a former Grassy Narrows and Treaty Three Chief who was poisoned by mercury contamination.
Call to action
The #ThirstyforJustice campaign is demanding that the Liberal government make good on its promise to fix the water crisis in First Nations communities and ensure that all Indigenous People have access to tap water that is safe to drink.
Share the campaign video and tag @JustinTrudeau and #ThirstyforJustice. And visit ThirstyforJustice.ca today.