Manitoba one of worst places for First Nations to live

Internal federal government documents show Manitoba is one of the worst places for First Nations to live in Canada.
A home on the Wasagamack First Nation, about 600 km north of Winnipeg in northern Manitoba. (Karen Pauls/CBC)

Internal federal government documents show Manitoba is one of the worst places for First Nations to live in Canada.

The regional updates obtained by The Canadian Press through Access to Information legislation show well over half of First Nations children in Manitoba grow up in poverty and have the lowest graduation rate in the country.

In one home on the Wasagamack First Nation in Manitoba, the washroom consists of a slop pail placed under a toilet seat. The silver bowl is used as a sink. (Karen Pauls/CBC)
First Nations in Manitoba also have the highest social assistance rates and the second-highest percentage of people living in dilapidated housing.

One update, from July 2014, says quality of life on Manitoba First Nations ranks the lowest in Canada, according to the UN Human Development Index.

Chief David McDougall, from the remote St. Theresa Point First Nation in northern Manitoba, says the federal government is turning a blind eye to the shocking living conditions on reserves.

He says young aboriginals in his community despair as they see luxuries on satellite television they can only dream of.

McDougall says no one is expecting a blank cheque but just some sign of interest from Ottawa.

A spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt said he was unavailable to comment on the living conditions of Manitoba First Nations.

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