Cherishing water and claiming health is the theme of a research planning meeting to be held in The Pas May 9-10, 2012.
The event co-ordinated by the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Human Rights Research, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak brings members of about 10 Manitoba First Nations together with researchers from the universities of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan and University College of the North. They will share information about drinking water and sanitation challenges in First Nations communities and brainstorm ways that researchers might be able to help solve those problems.
“I see water as a holistic health right,” said Dr. Brenda Elias, who received a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to fund the symposium. In 2010, the United Nations recognized safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right.
Media are welcome to interview participants at the close of the meeting at 2 p.m. Thur. May 10.
Participants will address issues such as:
- What are the health problems related to drinking water and sewage in your community?
- How can youth get involved in assessing drinking water and sanitation?
- What does your community want to know about laws on drinking water and sanitation?
- What’s the best way to measure the effects of good/poor water services and the costs and benefits of fixing the problems?
“We are pleased the Centre for Human Rights Research has chosen First Nations water and sanitation as one of their main research areas. Water is significant to the health of our people and environment. We must work collaboratively to address the inequities First Nations face in ensuring the health and safety of First Nations and our future generations,” said Manitoba Grand Chief Derek Nepinak. “In addition to the centre, we invite governments to work with us to invest adequate and comparable resources for solutions.”
The symposium is also supported by Dr. Annemieke Farenhorst, the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering in the Prairie region and Dr. Warren Cariou, the Canada Research Chair in Narrative, Community and Indigenous Cultures. Filmmaker Cariou will videotape the proceedings.
For media interviews, please contact:
Helen Fallding, Centre for Human Rights Research, University of Manitoba, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Anderson, research director, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak natural resources secretariat, at 204- 794-4312
Sheila North Wilson, chief communications officer, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, at 204-957-8450, or email: email@example.com