Take action for the right to water

Water is considered a basic human right according to many international treaties, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. But in Canada, running water is not available to Indigenous People living in Manitoba.

The Island Lake area of four reserves has a population of 10,000 and half of its homes Do Not Have Running Water. The Indigenous people of the Island Lake region have less clean water than people living in refugee camps overseas. This isn’t happening in the third world, it’s happening in one of the World's Richest Countries.

Indigenous people in Canada live in third world conditions and Most Canadians are Not even Aware of it.

United nation general assembly declares access to clean water and sanitation is a human right:

28 July 2010 – Safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights, the General Assembly declared today, voicing deep concern that almost 900 million people worldwide do not have access to clean water.

United Nations News Centre

1 October 2010 – The main United Nations body dealing with human rights has affirmed that the right to water and sanitation is contained in existing human rights treaties, and that States have the primary responsibility to ensure the full realization of this and all other basic human rights.

While the General Assembly declared in July that safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights, this is the first time that the Human Rights Council has declared itself on the issue….


Water is vital to people’s health and livelihoods. In Canada, there is no national strategy to address urgent water issues and no federal leadership to conserve and protect our water. The Federal Water Policy is over 20 years old and badly outdated. Our freshwater faces crises including contamination, shortages and pressure to export water to the United States through pipelines and diversions.

The Council of Canadians’ water campaign is calling for a national water policy that protects Canada’s water from bulk exports and privatization, because:

The free market doesn’t guarantee access to water;
Bulk exports could open the floodgates to trade challenges;
Canada’s water supply is limited;
Public water is safer, cleaner and more affordable; and
Water is essential for people and nature.


MEDIA RELEASE: Water justice activists demand action on 2nd anniversary of UN human right to water resolution, July 27, 2012. Read the open letter here (English) and here (Spanish).

MEDIA RELEASE: Canada Declares Support for Human Right to Water: Now is the time for action, says Council of Canadians, May 30, 3012

Join us in putting pressure on the federal government. Download a copy of the "Appeal to Parliamentarians on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation" letter and our Parliamentarian Pledge on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation. Arrange a meeting with your elected Member of Parliament and ask them to sign the pledge. (Télécharger en français : Appelaux parlementaires sur le droit de l'homme à l'eau et à l'assainissement, Libellé d’engagement pour les parlementaires sur le droit humain à l'eau)

Send your signed Parliamentarian Pledges to We will post a list of Members of Parliament who have committed to push for the government to meet Canada's obligations under international law for the human right to water and sanitation.

By working together we can all help make the human right to water and sanitation a reality in Canada!

Responses to "Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs: Water is a Human Right"

  1. Unknown says:


  2. Anonymous says:

    Water is a essence of life to all. These tribs of people deserve the same as any human.

  3. Unknown says:

    What if you're not Canadian? Is there anyway I can protest or help in some form then?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Save the number one resourse of the human race,we all need WATER

  5. Anonymous says:

    And I thought Canada was better than the U.S. They should NOT be allowed to let this happen ANYWHERE!Get a move on, Canada - show me i am wrong about how you treat your citizens!

  6. Anonymous says:

    In case anyone wants to question whether or not there is racism against our native community, the fact that not all reserves have running water should answer that. Obviously we do! Not only does our aboriginal community deserve running water, but they also deserve decent housing with proper heating and insulation. They deserve a decent education, decent health care and most of all respect. When will we make this a priority?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Aloha In Hawaii, Some People gather the Water of the Rain from the roofs into a swimming pool
    and then use a real good filter to use for drinking! and a pomp. With all the chemtrails in the skies maybe not the best.. but everyone in this neighbourhood are responsible for their own water system...Maybe it would be affordable to support these installations where You are Guys!
    have created a video with the Galactic Puppets Council which talks of the Sacredness of Water! maybe You are welcome to use it to share for Water Cause! We all create with our talents and Cooperation is the key!
    Clara and the Sacredness of Water

  8. Dianne Kyd says:

    The discrimination against first nations is alive and as sick as ever. This is a true fact: there are first nation communities that do not have access to clean water healthy food and decent housing. Bottled water is over a hundred dollars for a 24 pk of 1 litre bottles in Nunavut
    This is disgusting and very shameful. Contact your MP and let them know that this is unacceptable.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I worked in northern communities for seven years and observed first hand how much wasted financial resources is occurring. I witnessed one community receive funding to install water systems and then proceed to spend this money on purchasing new trucks and flying their band counsel to Florida spending the our tax dollars on things that were completely unrelated to the reason they received the funding. I do not believe this is an issue of not receiving the funding but more of an issue of poorly managed funding.

  10. Anonymous says:

    To further elaborate on the above comment I also witnessed one community who did not have running water, but used the money they received to build a state of the art hockey rink. This is a community of 1500-2000 people, possibly i am ignorant to their logic but it is hard for me to support a million dollar project for instillation of a water system when I can not be assured that the money will indeed go toward the intended outcome. I witnessed such incredible wasted monetary resources in Northern Manitoba, such as the removal of siding off a house to use it for firewood rather than obtaining firewood. These houses are bought and paid for by our tax money and to waste it is a shame. I am not advocating removal of funding but that there be better management with this funding.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I t is very difficult to understand how and why this is happening in Canada. Our Government is always handing out Millions upon Millions of dollars to Foreign Counties for a host o various things that some of our own people are going without......In fact I had a group knocking on my door last evening looking for donations to go to Kenya to help build a school and water system for the underprivileged.....I turned them down and asked why there group would not entertain doing the same for our own people in Canada....they had no answer.....they were just told to solicite for Kenya.....Sorry, Im confused

  12. Anonymous says:

    Water is the essence of life and all people should have FREE access. Mother Earth provides all the elements necessary to sustain life. Man should not put a price on it!!!

  13. Unknown says:

    Yet another shameful display from ignorant governments who control/steal the rightful owners water, wealth and land which was a birth right and God given, governments stop playing God and stay in a humans place ;).

  14. Anonymous says:

    If u live in the usa can we still sign the letters to parlement or do u hsve to be a resident of Canada

  15. phil says:

    You want the white government to provide you with water? Do not be beggers in your own land, be warriors, take it!

  16. Anonymous says:

    The government has given very large sums of money and it has been abused, couldn't the government elect native representatives with absolute plans to ensure the money goes where it's supposed to? They would be responsible to make reports and paper trails open and available to the public.
    Then I see a documentary on the tailing ponds in Alberta, how could the government let this happen and continue to let it happen, there was also worldwide concern when hundreds of geese were dying because of the water but little concern about the people getting sick and dying. We need to use the media, T.V., flyer, poles, petitions etc. on a constant basis until these problems are resolved. If I'd seen or heard of these things earlier I would have been concerned earlier. Regardless everyone needs to know what they can do to help, and how to implement that. If they have suggestions towards a solution, who do they contact, how etc.

  17. Anonymous says:

    why not just fix the water problem and not just give money. they do not have the education to fix it. if you stay on the resereve and don't go to school you go no where. the younger kids get to go to school and come back..

  18. Anonymous says:

    people in rural communities all over Canada don't have running water this is because its not fees-able to run underground pipes for many miles and somehow keep pressure for one persons house. I have been ti island lakes its a massive vast community the house are so far away form each other.... People in rural areas in don;t complain about not having running water because they dig there own wells buy their own pumps and filtration systems the municipalities do not pay for this service. The article is just another example of people wanting something for nothing. I guess when you don't work and everything paid for you have nothing better to do then just complain.

  19. Ben says:

    You should get a petition going on a petition site so it's easier for everyone to complete.

  20. Anonymous says:

    You want the government to pay for stuff like this? Show us where the money they are already giving to the reserves is going. The sad fact is the Assembly of chiefs is as corrupt and greedy as any other governing body and very little of the money already intended for exactly those purposes gets to where its suppose to go. You want more money? I want transparency.

  21. In the process of European colonization of the Americas that lasted over three centuries, Spain was the ONLY colonial power to pass laws for the protection of native Americans (aboriginals). As early as 1512, the Laws of Burgos regulated the behavior of Europeans in the New World forbidding the ill-treatment of indigenous people.

    Unfortunately, the English (U.K., Britain, England or whatever they call themselves) along with their proxy Portugal, or France, U.S.A., and Holland NEVER gave ANY aboriginals legal rights and turned them into slaves wherever they set foot. The rest where murdered and disappeared off the face of the earth via true genocide (too many examples to list but one that comes to mind is the U.S.A. General Nelson A. Miles who in 1890 massacred over 200 Sioux men, women and children) and the very few that "magically" remained were put in Indian Reservations where they are marginalized, alcoholized, and pretty much Ignored!

    Moreover, Spain was the ONLY European power that actually mixed and married with the aboriginal communities. They were called Crioles and Meztizos which in Spanish means "mixed". On the other hand, the English, Portuguese, Americans, Holland etc. NEVER married or mixed with the local aboriginal populations!

    By now you are probably asking yourselves, "Gee, we were taught in School that the Spanish Black Leyend killed all the Indians!". Sadly, you were taught that in the Anglosphere but the Facts state the exact OPPOSITE! The Black Leyend was created by Spain's enemies (England, Portugal, U.S.A., France and Holland) to steal Spain's possessions all over the Globe, kill all the aboriginal populations and then blame Spain for all that!

    With all these FACTS in mind it's no small wonder that in Canada the Harper government,and all the ones before his, simply IGNORE the aboriginal population with the REGRET of not having killed them all. What i find puzzling is HOW in Canada there are Animal Abuse hotlines to protect cats & dogs from harm yet the Canadian government IGNORES 100% the 1000's of murdered and missing aboriginal women! Cats & dogs are given more rights that aboriginal people, it's a FACT!

    I wish i had a solution as to HOW to combat this and aid the aboriginal population but the only advice i could give is TELL your story to the World! Tell them about HOW the Black Leyend was "Made Up" to blame Spain for aboriginal atrocities when in Fact it was the opposite that happened! TELL them how Canada gives dogs & cats more Rights than aboriginals! TELL the world how the English spin-masters weave a dceptive web of lies & deceit since the beginning of English settlement in Canada. DONT be scared to TELL THE TRUTH about the English liars.


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