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Clean Water Access Issues for Indigenous Peoples of Canada

Access to clean and drinkable water has been recognized as one of the most significant human rights by the United Nations. The authorities of the United Nations have stated that the lack of access to affordable & sufficient water along with hygiene-oriented facilities can pose a devastating impact on human health. According to a report, the entire human population are right holders, and the governing state bodies are the duty bearers in terms of offering sanitation and water services. The guidelines state that the right holders are eligible to claim their rights. The duty-bearers are strictly guided to offer affordable water to the population without discrimination.

The essay aims to critically analyze the clean water access issue for the indigenous peoples in the First nations. The first nation is the acronym that has mostly been used to address Canada's indigenous peoples officially. Following the essay's purpose, the study will critically evaluate the issues by critically analyzing the peer-reviewed journals. In addition to this, how the issue violates human rights will also be analysed properly. Lastly, the essay will reflect upon the C-15 Bill passed by the Canadian government to assist the indigenous peoples in Canada. The study will be concluded by summarising the key discussions of the paper.  

According to Leyland Cecco (2021), the indigenous peoples of Canada have been suffering from a lack of access to clean water for over decades. Throughout the periods, the indigenous peoples of Canada had deep relief over the shipments of water bottles, and in case of not having access to those clean water bottles, the community had to rely on unsafe waters for a long period. Due to this reliance, the people had to suffer from waterborne illnesses. The newly appointed indigenous community leader, Chief Emily Whetung, has lived her entire life without access to clean water resources flowing from the tap. Despite being one of the water-rich nations, Canada has failed to provide them access to clean water for every type of citizen in the region, including the indigenous peoples also. The entire community has argued that it is the Federal government's fault that they failed to provide the right access to clean water to those peoples. The medical practitioners have stated that the lack of access to clean water ultimately results in significant chronic diseases like polio, typhoid, hepatitis A, diarrhea, and dysentery (Hasan, Shahriar & Jim, 2019). Statistics show that the water crisis issue among the indigenous peoples has resulted in 90 deaths every year, along with more than 90,000 chronic illnesses among the Canadian peoples yearly. Regarding this huge amount of illness among the indigenous peoples of Canada, it can be stated that the water crisis issues need to be eliminated in the most effective format by the Federal government.

According to an article, one of the key reasons behind the water crisis among the indigenous peoples of Canada is the direction of the water flow (Government of Canada, 2022). The country has been estimated to have 7% of the world's clean water supply resources. Despite that, the country's indigenous peoples are suffering from clean water access. As per the author, the water direction of the country has been placed inappropriately. As per the geographical location of Canada, most of the indigenous peoples live in the southern regions, whereas 60% of the water supply flows northward. The framework states that the governing bodies need to ensure access to clean water to the population irrespective of gender, age, colour and communal background, which in the case of the indigenous peoples has been violated heavily. According to the framework related to safer and clean drinking water, it can be found that the governing bodies need to ensure access to clean water to the population irrespective of gender, age, colour and communal background, which in the case of the indigenous peoples has been violated heavily. In addition to this, nearly 86% of the total water access of the country is being consumed by the mining, oil, agriculture, and gas sectors. This huge consumption rate of water from those industries can be considered as another significant reason behind the water crisis. Nowadays, where the indigenous community leader has lived without seeing a clear water supply from the tap, the manufacturing, oil, and gas industries have consumed more than 80% of the water resources. This high imbalance and improper water supply distribution by the Federal government have resulted in the water crisis issue among indigenous Canadians (Government of Canada).

Reasons behind the Clean Water Crisis Issue

Though in the current situation, the Federal government is taking some significant strategies to mitigate these issues, the story of suffering is tried indeed. People had to die for not having access to clean water.

According to the UN sustainability goals and human rights framework, access to clean water and sanitation is the basic right of the population in the entire global region (UN-Water, 2022). Along with that, clean water access is being entitled to every living human being on the planet without any discrimination to the native peoples. According to an article, the discrimination against the first Nations peoples can be considered an evidence-oriented fact (CBC News, 2022). The authorities have investigated and reported that the water crisis issues have mostly been obtained in the first nations of Canada, whereas the rest of the Canadians are living their life without any trouble and water crisis. The top six nations that have installed the most boil-water advisories are Shoal Lake 40, Grassy Narrows, Batchewana, and Ontario. The study has revealed that the first nations lack the legal protections for safe drinking water, which has been effectively offered to the rest of the Canadians (CBC News, 2022). This injustice in legal regulation indicates the act of social discrimination for the indigenous peoples of Canada. The newly electrified prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, has taken significant steps to solve this water crisis issue for the indigenous peoples by spending billions of dollars (LaDuke & Cowen, 2021). However, there is still a lot of work left to solve the problem completely. Specifically, the discriminatory issue for the indigenous peoples highlights the violation of Human Rights proposed by the United Nations.

In the opinion of Gaber (2019), the water right entitles every person on the planet to have access to sufficient, physically accessible, acceptable, safe and clear water. This means that access to physically accessible clean and drinkable water is the basic right of humans. The offering of water resources is required to be sufficient, as 72% of the planet is consistent with water, and the improvement of advanced technology has supported in converting those non-drinkable waters into drinkable water. In such circumstances, the water crisis issue cannot be considered as a result of a natural disaster. To prove this perspective, the author has conducted an in-depth analysis of the actual problem of the water crisis in the Canadian region. According to the results of the primary investigation, opined by author one-third of the entire water system of Canada is consistent with vulnerable technology. Due to these reasons, the water quality is poor, and people get affected heavily.

Additionally, 312 water systems of Canada have not met the standard health guide; lines during construction (Meera Karunananthan & Johanna Willows, 2021). These significant lacks into Canada's water system can be considered a result of negligence by the Federal government. Where the rest of the Canadians have access to clean water, the indigenous peoples don't have this access. Instead, they have access only to the vulnerable systems. This clear line of differentiation indicates the issues of cultural and social discrimination, which violates the human rights framework of the UN (Mullen, 2020). The framework states that the governing bodies need to ensure access to clean water to the population irrespective of gender, age, colour and communal background, which in the case of the indigenous peoples has been violated heavily.

Clean Water Access and Human Rights Violation

To address and mitigate the previously mentioned issues of the indigenous peoples, the ministry of Justice and Attorney general of the Federal government has introduced Bill C-15. The act has been critically deployed to respect and include the UN declaration over rights to the indigenous peoples. The Bill has supported the Canadian government to establish the legislative framework intending to serve the indigenous peoples who have been suffering for over a decade (Français Government of Canada, 2022). Under this C-15 Bill, the article 32, 25 and 2 has clearly addressed the social discrimination issue and clean water access issues for the indigenous Canadians. Through this consideration the life-style of the indigenous peoples can now be improved appropriately. Moreover, there will also be able to live a discrimination free life along with proper access to the clean water (Government Bill (House of Commons) C-15, 2022). The addressed issue by C-15 Bill is self-determination & self-government, non-discrimination & equality, language & culture, community and identity, spirituality & religion, resources, lands & territories, environment, health, education and the, indigenous institutions, and legal facilities.  

In the opinion of Arsenault et al. (2018), the presence of an in-efficient or zero legislative framework in first nations for the indigenous peoples in the first nations is one of the significant reasons behind their water crisis. Now by addressing the issues and implementing the quality legislative framework for the indigenous peoples, the water crisis issue can be mitigated in the most effective format. In addition to this, the Federal government has also ensured the investment of $ 1.5 billion to mitigate the water crisis regarding the indigenous peoples. This huge investment will entirely be used to reconstruct the water systems and ensure clean water access to the indigenous Canadians. Since the act's introduction, the Federal government has installed or re-constructed nearly 634 water reservation systems in a quality printed manner (Canadian aboriginal reserves, 2022). As per the authority, this 634-water reservation system will effectively mitigate the water crisis for the 581 indigenous families. Though there, a lot of work remains as the entire indigenous community faces the crisis. In addition to this, 39 new treatment plants have also been established by the Federal government to date.

According to Hagg, Gerke & Cherkawsky (2018), the inclusion of a non-discrimination and equality legislative framework can be considered s another significant reason behind the complete mitigation of the water crisis. Reports state that the discriminatory mindset of the Federal government to the indigenous peoples has mainly included this water crisis in the daily life of indigenous peoples. In previous circumstances, due to zero legal framework about the social & cultural discrimination against indigenous peoples, it has created a loophole into the legal systems. The authorities of the legal system have used this loop-whole into the legal system very efficiently and resulted in a water crisis for the people. A country with 7% of the world's clean water resources cannot offer the same type of water to the entire population. Now including the legal framework & guidelines of discrimination & equality into the legal system of Canada via the C-15 Bill will effectively ensure that the indigenous peoples are being able to get access to clean water resources.

Conclusion

During the time of preparing this research assignment constant analysis has been done regarding the issues related to safer and clean drinking water. In conclusion, it can be stated that the lack of legal frameworks over discrimination and equality are the main reason behind the water crisis issue of the Indigenous peoples. Due to lack of access to clean water resources, indigenous Canada has faced various health issues like polio, typhoid, hepatitis A, diarrhea, and dysentery. Each year, nearly ninety thousand people of the indigenous community-based health issues ultimately resulted in death. Every person has the right to attain safe drinking water irrespective of the condition. Therefore, it is very crucial for every country to install safe drinking water plants and arrange healthy water that would not cause any harm to the health of the common people. In recent circumstances, the Federal government has taken some quality strategies to mitigate and complete the elimination of the issues from the Canadian region. As per records, nearly 581 indigenous peoples have been secured from the water crisis issue by implementing the new water reservation system. Still, a lot of work remains to be completed by the Federal government.

Reference list

Metcalfe, C., Murray, C., Collins, L. & Furgal, C., (2022). Tandfonline.com. Retrieved 24 March 2022, from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/11287462.2011.10800705.

Mahlknecht, J., González-Bravo, R., & Loge, F. J. (2020). Water-energy-food security: A Nexus perspective of the current situation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Energy, 194, 116824.

LaDuke, W., & Cowen, D. (2020). Beyond wiindigo infrastructure. South Atlantic Quarterly, 119(2), 243-268.

Abdeen, A., Kharvari, F., O'Brien, W., & Gunay, B. (2021). The impact of the COVID-19 on households’ hourly electricity consumption in Canada. Energy and Buildings, 250, 111280.

Mullen, C. A. (2020). Contemporary Canadian indigenous peoples on tribal justice as decolonization:“Not all narratives begin in 1867”. Handbook on promoting social justice in education, 2041-2067.

Canadian aboriginal reserves | system of reserves, Canada. Encyclopedia Britannica. (2022). Retrieved 24 March 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/place/Canadian-aboriginal-reserves.

Arsenault, R., Diver, S., McGregor, D., Witham, A. & Bourassa, C., (2018). Shifting the framework of Canadian water governance through Indigenous research methods: Acknowledging the past with an eye on the future. Water, 10(1), p.49.

CBC News, (2022). Tainted water 'jeopardizing health' of First Nations children, families rights group says | CBC News. [online] CBC. Available at: <https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/human-rights-water-first-nations-1.3619218#:~:text=CBC%20News%20Loaded-,Canada%20violates%20human%20right%20to%20safe%20water%2C%20says%20report%20by,report%20by%20Human%20Rights%20Watch.> [Accessed 23 March 2022].

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"Clean Water Access Issues Faced By Indigenous Peoples In First Nations: An Analysis." My Assignment Help, 2022, https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/gned1317-human-rights/indigenous-people-file-A1DF9E1.html.

My Assignment Help (2022) Clean Water Access Issues Faced By Indigenous Peoples In First Nations: An Analysis [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/gned1317-human-rights/indigenous-people-file-A1DF9E1.html
[Accessed 23 July 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Clean Water Access Issues Faced By Indigenous Peoples In First Nations: An Analysis' (My Assignment Help, 2022) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/gned1317-human-rights/indigenous-people-file-A1DF9E1.html> accessed 23 July 2024.

My Assignment Help. Clean Water Access Issues Faced By Indigenous Peoples In First Nations: An Analysis [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2022 [cited 23 July 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/gned1317-human-rights/indigenous-people-file-A1DF9E1.html.

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