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Slow Boil

Radio stories done by our regional reporters:
CBC News Online | February 20, 2006

New information just released by Health Canada shows that 76 of Canada's First Nation communties remain under an advisory to boil their drinking water.

That's despite close to two billion dollars spent since 2001 to upgrade First Nations' water systems.

CBC Radio reporters across the country have obtained through Access to Information - audits done on reserves five years ago.

CBC has now returned to some of the worse-off communities to look at what has changed, and today we begin " A Slow Boil" - our special investigation into the state of water on reserves.

As Dave Seglins reports, chronic problems persist and water on two thirds of reserves continues to be "at risk." < runs 1:39 >

People at the Kitigan Zibi First Nation in the Maniwaki area are still drinking bottled water despite several recommendations that were made five years ago. Josee Bellemare traveled out to the reserve to find out what's been done since the audit. < runs 5:08 >


Rosalie Woloski visited the Gordon First Nation which is struggling with high arsenic levels in its water. < runs 8:03 >


Jacques Poitras visits the First Nations' community of King's Clear and speaks to former Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Andy Scott.
< runs 5:42 >

Ron Desmoulins visits the First Nations' community of Kiashke Zaaging
< runs 1:12 > and also learns about the spiritual significance of water in
native culture.< runs 6:14 >


Mychalo Prystupa visited Little Saskatchewan, Manitoba, where
people are relying on bottled water. < runs 1:12 >

- --

Scott Dippell visited the Tsuu T'ina reserve in Southern Alberta.
< runs 6:58 >

- --

Cheryl Kawaja visited Chapel Island to find out what improvements have been made to its community water supply.
< runs 13:20>

- --

Vik Adhopia spoke to the water plant operator of one reserve who says part of the problem is lack of training.
< runs 1:15>

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RELATED: Kashechewan: Water crisis in Northern Ontario Selling Canada's water

Chronic problems persist and water on two thirds of reserves continues to be "at risk" - Dave Seglins reports:
< runs 1:29>

Total population of Canada: 31,414,000

Total people of aboriginal origin: 1,319,890


North American Indian:
Métis: 266,020*
Inuit: 51,390*
More than one aboriginal origin: 44,835


People of aboriginal origin living on reserve: 285,625

People of aboriginal origin living off reserve: 1,034,260

People of non-aboriginal origin living on reserve: 36,230

(Source: 2001 Census, Statistics Canada)
*includes people of a single aboriginal origin and those of a mix of one aboriginal origin with non-aboriginal origins

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