Federal Government makes $8B deal to fix First Nations water problem

The federal government has reached a nearly $8-billion settlement with First Nations who launched a class-action lawsuit over the lack of clean, safe drinking water in their communities.

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller, alongside chiefs of the First Nations behind the lawsuit, announced Friday that they have reached an agreement in principle to resolve the suit outside of court.

Miller said the agreement includes $1.5 billion in compensation for people [142,000] deprived of clean drinking water, the creation of a $400 million First Nation economic and cultural restoration fund and at least $6 billion to support reliable access to safe drinking water on reserves…”

“The lawsuit was launched by the Tataskweyak Cree Nation in Manitoba and the Curve Lake First Nation and Neskantaga First Nation in Ontario.

It alleged that Canada has breached its obligations to First Nations and their members by failing to ensure that reserve communities have clean water, according to the plaintiffs’ law firms, Olthuis, Kleer, Townshend LLP and McCarthy Tétrault LLP. The class included all members of First Nations whose communities were subject to a drinking water advisory for a year or longer from November 8, 1995, to the present…”

Comment: The moral of the story is “the power of the collective” ─the power of a “Think Tank,” which is akin to having a permanent “Class-Action Lawsuit” entity in response to critical issues in the Black community with a unified strategy to attain and sustain it.

Black lives in Canada deserve better deliberation, but should we keep waiting for Canada to come to us? Instead, we should go to her as other cultures with “joint” unsolicited proposals, underpinned by highly researched and analyzed strategic plans, with clearly delineated “solution perspectives,” akin to A Black Canadian Empowerment Manifesto (CBEM) Version 2.0. We should also look forward to Version 3.0 and 4.0 in the future ─with “great expectations.”