NAN Calls on Trudeau Government to Prioritize IRS Missing Children, First Nation Water Issues

THUNDER BAY, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Derek Fox is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to prioritize the recovery of First Nations children who never returned home from Indian Residential Schools and the elimination of boil water advisories and water issues in First Nations communities as he forms the 44th Government of Canada:

“The discovery of undocumented graves has retraumatized Survivors and the families of our missing youth. Many Residential School Survivors and families are frustrated that responsibility for these crimes was not widely debated during this election, and they demand that those responsible be held accountable.

The Canadian public is only beginning to grasp the scope of these atrocities and the true history of this country. We acknowledge that the Prime Minister has committed support for the recovery of our lost children. True reconciliation cannot be achieved until all of these children are identified and brought home.

We were disappointed that the Prime Minister abandoned his target of eliminating boil water advisories by March 2021, and it is time to re-set this agenda. Ensuring that our communities have access to safe water must also be prioritized by establishing policy to ensure that funding structures for new plants, upgrades, and operation and maintenance, that meet the needs of our communities, with firm timelines and accountability.

We congratulate Prime Minister Trudeau and look forward to continuing to work with our federal Treaty partner to heal this country and move forward together.”

There are currently eight short-term and 10 long-term boil water advisories in effect across NAN territory, including Neskantaga First Nation, which has been on a BWA for 26 years, the longest in Canada. Muskrat Dam First Nation has been on a BWA since 2004. A breakdown in Marten Falls First Nation’s water system forced a state of emergency last week as residents were left without safe drinking water.

NAN also congratulates MPs elected in ridings across NAN territory including Eric Melillo (Kenora), Patty Hajdu (Thunder Bay-Superior North), Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay), Carol Hughes (Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing), and Marc Serre (Nickel Belt). NAN also acknowledges Janine Seymour in her attempt to become the Kenora riding’s first Indigenous and first female MP.