OTTAWA — The office of Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O’Regan says he will be visiting Attawapiskat First Nation at the request of the community’s chief.
The northern Ontario reserve declared a state of emergency earlier this month due to concerns about chemical levels in the water.
Earlier this week, NDP MPs Charlie Angus and Tracey Ramsey visited the community and called on the minister to do the same, adding it is important for O’Regan to see what’s happening on the ground.
O’Regan’s office has said the federal government is aware of community concerns about the water, adding that addressing the issue in “full partnership” is a top priority.
It says that $1.5 million has been approved for immediate repairs to the reserve’s existing water treatment plan and that clean drinking water is available from a second system.
In previous years, Attawapiskat has drawn national attention for its 2012 housing crisis and more recently for issues with youth suicide.
The Canadian Press