Archive for June, 2010

Send empty glasses to Harper, Algoma U students urge

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

By Staff
Tuesday, June 15, 2010



SAULT STE MARIE, ON – (June 15, 2010) – Students at Algoma University have responded to the proposed First Nations Water Legislation (Bill S-11), saying that while the efforts are long overdue, it is a small step in the right direction, with more work needed for the bill to carry any long-term viability.

“It’s concerning that the bill will create legislation, but will fail to implement adequate skills training and resources to First Nations communities to meet the regulations,” says Katie Yakasovich, vice-president, external of the Algoma University Students’ Union (AUSU). “It’s also disheartening that the government would spend $1.9 Million to create a fake lake in downtown Toronto, but will not invest in the health and sustainability of our communities.”

AUSU, in solidarity with the Shingwauk Anishnaabe Students Association (SASA), continues to work towards enlightening the federal government on the issues with the over 120 First Nations communities that do not have access to clean drinking water.

Algoma U graduate Joanne Robertson and supporters are actively working on the Empty Glass for Water campaign to raise awareness with the federal government that the number of water advisories is a problem that only the federal government working with our First Nations leaders can address.

“Bill S-11 provides no guarantees that drinking water infrastructure will be improved in our communities. One in six of our communities is on a boil water advisory,” says Robertson.

“We have support from across Canada to continue the efforts to ensure fair access to resources,” Yakasovich says. “Over 600,000 students have endorsed the campaign, and we will take that support to the next level as we force the decision-makers to be accountable, and ensure our message is heard. This was an issue that was raised when Liberal Party Leader Michael Ignatieff was here for a town hall meeting. We need Ottawa to understand that leaving communities behind is never an option. The electorate will not have it.”

Algoma University students and people from across the country are encouraged to collect empty glasses to send to the prime minister’s office to send the message, and promote all communities to send an empty glass with a message to the prime minister, asking for fair access to a safe, clean drinking water.

About Algoma University Students’ Union

Algoma University Students’ Union represents over 1,000-full and part-time students in Sault Ste. Marie and Brampton ON, and is Local 82 of the Canadian Federation of Students.

About Algoma University

Algoma University offers a wide variety of liberal arts and sciences degree options including programs in psychology, computer science, business administration, fine arts, community economic & social development, and biology.

As the Canadian home of the internationally recognized M.Sc. CGT from the University of Abertay Dundee, Algoma University is at the forefront of computer games technology education.

Algoma University also offers accelerated second degree programs in business administration and computer science on its Brampton campus.

As a partner with Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, Algoma U is committed to respecting Anishinaabe knowledge and culture.

To learn more about Algoma University, visit here.

New Proposed Safe Drinking Water Legislation Will Not Meet The Needs Of First Nations

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Friday, 28 May 2010

(Saskatoon, SK) FSIN Vice Chief Lyle Whitefish says proposed new legislation for safe drinking water
does not address the current lack of funding for First Nation drinking water infrastructure. In its
current form Bill S-11 also places too much responsibility on First Nation Chiefs and Councils without
providing adequate resources to meet the objectives of the proposed legislation.

“Here is another example of what happens when a government fails its duty to consult obligation.
The Federal Government held minimal discussions with First Nations in the development of this
proposed safe drinking water legislation,” says Vice Chief Whitefish. “First Nations are concerned
with areas of the Bill that give way to Provincial drinking water standards. These standards are not
high enough. Our people have the right to have safe clean drinking water.”

There are 114 First Nation communities across Canada under drinking water advisories. In
Saskatchewan there are 14 boil water advisories on 12 First Nation communities.
“First Nations pride themselves on having higher water standards than other jurisdictions.
That’s why we want funding to develop our own legislation and standards that are acceptable
for safe drinking water that ensures the health of our people,” says Vice Chief Whitefish.
The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan.
The Federation is committed to honouring the spirit and intent of Treaty, as well as the
promotion, protection and implementation of the Treaty promises that were made more than
a century ago.