First Nations And Water Rights

2767 Words Nov 29th, 2014 12 Pages
First Nations and Water Rights:
The Link to Poor Health Among the First Nations Communities in Canada
Imogene Roulson
201183702
Dr. Irene Shankar
SLGY 2235-001: Sociology of Health and Illness
December 4 2014

On July 28th 2010, through Resolution 64/292, the United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation. They acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realization of all human rights. The UN stated that water should be, “safe, sufficient, acceptable [taste, colour, odor], physically accessible, and affordable” (Knight and Hartl, 2003). Water is one of the most important elements to human life. In Canada we are host to about twenty percent of the world’s fresh water (Boyd, 2003). It has a square kilometer measurement large enough to cover both California and Nevada (Matsui, 2012, p. 1). While most Canadians who live in urban areas are free to enjoy safe drinking water, some First Nations communities living on reserves do not (White, Murphy, Spence, 2012). For instance, as of July 2010, 116 First Nation communities in Canada were under a drinking water advisory (Health Canada, 2010), with many of these communities living under advisories for prolonged periods of time. This issue is of vital importance to discuss and evaluate because clean, safe drinking water is a mandated human right. In Canada we have failed to ensure that water on reserves meets that standards set out by the UN.…

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