Clean water for Indigenous communities drinking from the Great Lakes Basin

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The Great Lakes contain 18 percent of the world’s fresh surface water. In Ontario, they are a large, greatly-depended upon resource for residents who are connected to this particular water source. 

However, the Great Lakes Basin is full of toxins and pollutants that contaminate the water & make it unhealthy and dangerous to consume. 

It is estimated that more than 90 billion litres of the waste that is dumped into the Great Lakes each year is untreated sewage. That is the equivalent of dumping more than 100 Olympic swimming pools of raw sewage into the Great Lakes each day!

This basin drains into the Great Lakes water supply, which is designated for the Indigenous peoples’ reserves located on the coast.

Although Canada prides itself as a highly developed, first-world nation, the lack of Federal government action towards this water crisis clearly exhibits the environmental discrimination and injustice towards Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Recently affecting the Chippewas of Georgina Island is the Upper York Sewage Solutions Project, which has been in limbo for over a year now; UYSSP would contribute to the disposal of "more than 40 million litres of treated wastewater per day into the Lake Simcoe Watershed". From the most recent updates, the government and decision makers have failed to include the community in any aspects of the project proposal, as well as ignoring critical concerns for health and the environment  - threatening the Lake Simcoe watershed, drinking water quality, along with the rights and livelihood of the Chippewas of Georgina Island residing in the area. 

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The government regulates water quality for non-Indigenous communities, but has no binding regulations for water on Indigenous land. Collectively, we can raise awareness and push for a well overdue change in our society, including the protection of water bodies on Indigenous territories and the rights of the people who live there!

It is a fundamental human right to have clean, safe drinking water, and it is unacceptable that the Canadian government [namely Trudeau’s party in power, most recently] has failed to provide this to Indigenous communities for decades, whilst failing to live up to treaty agreements and personal promises made by the state and PM Trudeau. 

Please sign this petition to push the Canadian federal government on taking legally binding action on ensuring and providing accessible, clean, safe water and adequate living conditions that Indigenous peoples live in, every signature is one step closer to clean water and a better future. 

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