Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Running water coming at last to Island Lake

  • Print
David Harper

Enlarge Image

David Harper

David Harper can now foresee a day when his community -- along with several Island Lake First Nations -- have indoor plumbing.

"It took a long time, but at least we know people will have running water in days," the grand chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak said on Monday.

"It's days now."

'It took a long time, but at least we know people will have running water in days. It's days now'

-- grand chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak David Harper

MKO represents 30 northern Manitoba First Nations.

For decades, residents of Garden Hill, St. Theresa Point and other Island Lake communities have had outdoor toilets, or had to haul water from communal standpipes or trucks. Of the 1,400 Island Lake homes, around 1,000 had no indoor plumbing.

Federal funding in 2011 helped retrofit most of the homes. About 200 remain without running water, but a federal spokeswoman said work from that funding injection continues.

On Monday, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development minister Bernard Valcourt announced in Winnipeg $323.4 million has been set aside by the federal government over the next two years to for new projects improve waste-water and water issues on First Nations in Canada.

Part of that federal money will be allotted to Island Lake communities.

"We're closing the gap," Harper said.

Harper, who was raised in Garden Hill, welcomed the announcement.

"We have to start somewhere, right?" the chief said. "I mean, a year ago we wouldn't have anything at all."

For years, Island Lake leaders have been campaigning for improvements in water quality and delivery for their isolated communities, which are located about 600 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, which have been described as having Third World conditions. A campaign to raise awareness for improved water quality has been ongoing since 2008, which sought to embarrass the Harper government to address the issue.

One of the campaign postcards showed a small child in a black-and-white photo, his face covered with a rash.

randy.turner@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 18, 2014 A7

History

Updated on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 9:04 AM CST: Corrects to Island Lake First Nation.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Chief justices breakdown cameras in courtroom project

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose flys defensively to protect their young Wednesday near Kenaston Blvd and Waverley -See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 16 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A  young goose stuffed with bread from  St Vital park passers-by takes a nap in the shade Thursday near lunch  –see Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge Day 29-June 28, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you agree with the province’s crackdown on flavoured tobacco products?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google