Mac team to tackle ‘unacceptable’ water issues in First Nations communities – McMaster

October 24, 2017

The numbers are staggering. An analysis of water security and climate change in Indigenous communities shows that up to 72,000 people may have been affected by drinking water advisories (DWAs) in First Nations at the start of 2017. In 2016 alone, 133 boil water advisories in 90 Indigenous communities were issued that affected over 50,000 people across the country.

“To say it’s unacceptable, would be a serious understatement,” says Dawn Martin-Hill, associate professor of anthropology, and holder of the Paul R. MacPherson Chair in Indigenous Studies.

To help solve the problem, Professor Martin-Hill is leading a Global Water Futures project called Co-Creation of Indigenous Water Quality Tools that brings together members of two distinct Indigenous communities, and an interdisciplinary team of McMaster researchers. The three-year project was recently awarded $950,000 to identify sources of contaminants in drinking water sources and local aquatic ecosystems within the two communities, and to secure additional funding to address the problem in subsequent years

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