Press Release: OFNTSC continues to advocate for clean drinking water for Ontario First Nations

OFNTSC continues to advocate for clean drinking water for Ontario First Nations

(Toronto, March 22, 2018) – The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation (OFNTSC) is acknowledging that today is World Water Day. The United Nations originally began this acknowledgment in 1993 to bring attention to the importance that freshwater plays in everyone’s lives and the sustainable management of water resources.  This year’s theme is: The Answer is in Nature.  

The OFNTSC has worked over the past 23 years to ensure First Nations have access to clean drinking water in the communities we serve. Initiatives carried out by the OFNTSC in relation to clean drinking water, target: the protection of source water, training of water and wastewater plant operators, treatment facility operations and maintenance, and working with the Federal and Provincial (Ontario) governments, and the Chiefs of Ontario to address long standing boil water advisories in First Nations as part of a trilateral group. The OFNTSC also provides engineering services to First Nations to address water deficiencies.

“The OFNTSC continues to work with our First Nations and Tribal Councils in Ontario to ensure everyone has access to clean drinking water” said Melanie Debassige, Executive Director of the OFNTSC. “The goal of ensuring First Nations have clean drinking water is one that is attainable through working together with our partners. We can’t become complacent with progress that has already been made. We have to establish policy and funding mechanisms that realize First Nations have a right to clean drinking water.”

The OFNTSC would also like to acknowledge Autumn Peltier, from Wikwemikong First Nation. Ms. Peltier today is addressing the United Nations assembly in New York City on the importance of clean water to communities across the planet. Autumn will be delivering a presentation entitled “Water’s Promise: Making Every Drop Count”. The OFNTSC would like to congratulate Autumn on her continued efforts to raise awareness about the importance water plays in everyone’s lives, and to ensure water resources are available to future generations. 

“Today on World Water Day we encourage all people on our mother earth, to give thanks for the water with which we sustain our lives. It is our responsibility now at this time to safeguard this precious resource for our future generations use.”

The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation was created in 1995 to provide technical advice to 134 First Nations, 16 Tribal Councils, six large First Nations, 11 southern unaffiliated First Nations and seven northern unaffiliated First Nations. Areas of service include operations and maintenance, housing, water and wastewater treatment, infrastructure, training, environment, fire and safety and emergency planning. For more information on the OFNTSC, please visit www.ofntsc.org

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