Sol Mamakwa MPP for Kiiwetinoong

Government of Ontario

Ford must not delay help for North Spirit Lake First Nation under state of emergency

Published on October 24, 2019

Sol Mamakwa, Kiiwetinoong MPP and NDP Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation critic, issued the following statement after North Spirit Lake First Nation declared a state of emergency following a breakdown of its water system, and an escalation of an addiction epidemic.

“We call on the Ford government to stop standing by and using the excuse of jurisdiction to not step forward and help communities in crisis. North Spirit Lake First Nation has been forced to declare a state of emergency to deal with a long standing water crisis, and an addiction epidemic that is only getting worse.

Families have been dealing with a breakdown of essential services like electricity and power, while their sewage system backs up due to faulty pipes and pumps. Last winter, elementary school officials were forced to haul water from the lake to power the school’s sewage system and shorten school days due to health concerns for the students.

Teachers and nurses have been forced to leave the community because of a lack of these basic services needed in schools to teach children and in medical facilities to treat patients.

Families are living without the basic services all Ontarians should have to ensure their safety.

The Ford government must stop ignoring First Nations communities in the Far North, and take immediate action on providing medical help, mental health and addiction supports, and community infrastructure upgrades urgently needed by families in North Spirit Lake First Nation.”