It is devastating that Neskantaga First Nation has had to make this call after a Declared State of Emergency that occurred on Friday, September 15 after the water pump failed to treat and filter the water for all of those residing in Neskantaga First Nation, resulting to fully contaminated raw water. The community has been on a boil water advisory for 25 years, and now, today, it has come to the community having absolutely no access to clean water.
To summarize what is happening currently:
- Neskantaga is a community that is fluent in their language, and connection to the land. Our children are most effected by this as they are now having to leave the land that carried them, the land that raised them, and the language that lives so fluently amongst them just so they can have clean water.
- On day 2 of the declared State of Emergency, there has been 10 patients admitted into the nursing station due to infections from the contaminated water.
- Indigenous Services Canada refused to declare the issue of clean water for the community as a “priority” and further refused assistance to helping this matter.
- Indigenous Services Canada only provided the recommendation that each person can have 1.5 litres of water per day. This is unrealistic considering how much water you need per day to be healthy, to do dishes, brush you teeth, bathe, and care for the children who have been affected/infected by the unhealthy contaminated water, etc.
- Due to skin infections from the water being contaminated and needing to bathe the children, and sanitize clothes from infection, residents have been forced to use more then 1.5 litres in order to heal their children and their small bodies. This has resulted in absolutely no water, and need for more water then they are accessible too.
- The only clean water provided is through bottles, which ultimately harms our mother other. All the lakes and rivers that flow will be affected with the contamination of plastics and infections.
- Chief Chris Moonias is using all funds to evacuate the vulnerable who may be prone to pneumonia, infection and other illness, including those who are sick, all of the children and infants, and our elders who carry the knowledge we need to thrive that keep the community or Neskantaga part of the “whole”. Our children could potentially be without their parents due to the Stage 1 Evacuation Procedure, and lack of funds.
- The self given funds to evacuate will affect education systems, economic development projects, programs to address mental and physical health, Health care systems, and many others.
Water is a human right, and basic necessity. Our children deserve to know what clean water is. Please help by sharing or donating. All proceeds go directly to the #NeskantagaWaterCrisis to host the community members during the Neskantaga self evacuation.
Other ways you can help if you can’t donate:
- Use platforms within agencies to voice the matter of clean water and human rights. This includes educators, social workers, influential speakers, friends, media and new reporters, advocates, ect. We all have a voice, even if it feels small, it is not.
- Just speak of this
- Share posts, including this one.
- You do not need permission to host any form of public ceremony or event to bring awareness to the Neskantaga Water Crisis, or any other “boil water” or “do not consume” advisory. There are people who can help you take action.
Update: As this GoFundMe was created urgently to bring awareness and to collect donations during the initial self evacuation, it is asked that further donations be sent to a Fundraiser being held by Matawa First Nations "Gathering of River for Community Care". For more information regarding the new main fundraising page, you can visit: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/id/102473/
The current donation funds raised by GoFundMe will be deposited into the personal bank account of Stephanie Quisess where a cheque will then be issued to Chief Chris Moonias for compensation from the self evacuation (which went to hotel costs, diapers, hygiene, water, basic needs, transportation, ect.)
Meegwetch/Thank you for donating, sharing and getting the word out of this issue. There are many of us who are grateful to see people stepping up whether it if organizations or people in general.
- Kier Mailan
- Kyra Allen-Erichsen
- Sharon Clark
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