|Lack hot running water||Lack cold running water||Lack flush toilets|
|Access to Water||3.4||2.1||2.7|
Source: CICH graphic created using data from Stout, R. (2018). The built environment: Understanding how physical environments influence the health and well- being of First Nations peoples living on- reserve. Prince George, BC: National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health. Data from Chiefs Assembly on Education. A Portrait of First Nations and Education. 2011.
A small but unacceptable number of First Nations communities lack some level of water in their houses.
3.4% lack hot running water.
2.1% lack cold running water.
2.7% lack flush toilets.
Furthermore, boil water advisories are 2.5 times more frequent for First Nations than for other communities.1
A 2011 national assessment of First Nations water systems found that of 807 systems serving 560 First Nations communities, 72% of houses had their water piped, 14% were on truck delivery, 13% were serviced by individual wells and 2% had no water service provision.1
1Stout, R. (2018). The built environment: Understanding how physical environments influence the health and well- being of First Nations peoples living on- reserve. Prince George, BC: National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health. Data from Chiefs Assembly on Education. A Portrait of First Nations and Education. 2011.
As such, the federal government is responsible for water and wastewater systems on reserve. To date, federal funding has not been insufficient for adequately addressing water and wastewater issues on reserve.2 In order to improve living conditions in Indigenous communities, better infrastructure is required to ensure drinking water is safe and wastewater is treated effectively, and Indigenous communities must have control over their affairs. A strategy that provides public funding for water services and local management and legislation to ensure drinking water quality is monitored is critical.3 The Government of Canada has committed to improving water infrastructure on reserves; end long-term drinking water advisories of a year or more on public systems on reserve; and prevent short-term advisories from becoming long-term.4 The new investments have already resulted in improvements in water quality in some communities, but more needs to be done.
2Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. (2006). Report of the Expert Panel On Safe Drinking Water.
3The Council of Canadians. (n.d.). Safe Water for First Nations.
4Indigenous Services Canada. (2018). Ending long-term drinking water advisories.