(March 11, 2022) – Indigenous communities and individuals may soon be entitled to compensation from a class-action lawsuit that was settled with the federal government for $8-billion.
In 2019, two Ontario First Nations filed separate lawsuits against the federal government, citing drinking-water advisories on First Nations reserves across the country.
The plaintiffs sought compensation for those who suffered from a lack of reliable access to clean water.
Last July, Ottawa reached a settlement with the First Nations. In December of 2021, an $8-billion agreement was approved by the courts. Of the money to be awarded, there will be $1.5 billion in compensation for individuals deprived of clean drinking water. Six-billion dollars will be set aside to upgrade water infrastructure to help settle ongoing water issues. There will also be the creation of a $400-million First Nation Economic and Cultural Restoration Fund.
First Nations communities could be entitled to $500,000 if they agree to the settlement. Under the terms of the agreement, they will not have to outline how the community was harmed. There is a clause in the settlement that gives Indigenous communities authority over their water systems repairs. A website has also been set up to help people who want to file a claim under the drinking water settlement. A hotline is also available for those needing assistance.
Indigenous leaders have applauded the decision, and say the money will go a long way toward fixing chronic water issues. They warn however, that while the compensation is welcome, money alone can never repair the harm done to communities.
“We are proud to give this name and in doing so we acknowledge EPCOR’s desire to steward these lands, to connect our peoples to this place, and to seek reconciliation. We are proud of our relationship with EPCOR and of the future. We will walk together,” said Chief Billy Morin of Enoch Cree Nation.
“It is clear that the provincial system does not serve the best interest of our children, and as a result, our families and Nations. ”
– Acting Grand Chief Cornell McLean
“As leader of the AFN, it is my duty to advise His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales that the very frauds and abuses which The Royal Proclamation directed be ended have only been perpetrated and permitted and that cannot and should not occur further.”
– Assembly of First Nations National Chief Roseanne Archibald
The last royal visit to Northwest Territories was in 2011, when Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, were welcomed by large crowds during a one-day stop in the North during a whirlwind first royal tour for the newlyweds. This royal visit was to culminate with a celebration in Yellowknife in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
(NP health.info) /Thursday May 19/ Proposed amendments to international health regulations covered by the World Health Organization does not grant...
Canada is dealing with a scandal which saw indigenous children die or be abused in residential schools. There have been calls for the Queen to apologise over the issue.