Manitoba

International watchdog Human Rights Watch to look at Shoal Lake 40

​An international watchdog known for its work in Africa and the Middle East has launched an investigation into the situation at Shoal Lake 40 First Nation.

Watchdog known for work in Africa, Middle East will send researcher to community

The Shoal Lake community was cut off from the mainland, creating an artificial island that has remained that way for a century. Now, they want an all-weather road out of the community. (Shoal Lake First Nation)

An international watchdog known for its work in Africa and the Middle East has launched an investigation into the situation at Shoal Lake 40 First Nation.

The community supplies drinking water to Winnipeg but has been under a boil water advisory for nearly two decades. They have been lobbying for years to get a road that connects the community with the mainland.

Cuyler Cotton, who works with Shoal Lake 40, says attention from Human Rights Watch shows how dire the situation is in the community.

"The essentials of life are at risk here," said Cotton. "It is without water. It is without garbage disposal. It is without sewage disposal. It is dangerous to access it. This is an extreme situation in a community."

The community needs a permanent road to build a treatment plant.

Cotton said a senior researcher from Human Rights Watch plans to investigate in the community.

"It's really not good news for the community that this is so horrendous – this situation – that the international human rights people are now coming in to see this," said Cotton.

Human Rights Watch will publish a report once their investigation is complete.

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