Access to Safe Drinking Water in First Nations Communities – Indigenous Services Canada
Report 3, Independent Auditor’s Report – 2021
This report presents the results of a performance audit conducted by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG) under the authority of the Auditor General Act.
Why perform the audit:
Access to safe drinking water is vital to the health and well-being of First Nations communities. Until deficiencies with water systems are addressed and long-term solutions are fully implemented, communities may continue to have challenges accessing safe drinking water.
If funding to operate and maintain water systems is insufficient, water systems may continue to deteriorate at a faster-than-expected rate. A regulatory regime for safe drinking water in First Nations communities is important to ensure that First Nations people receive protections comparable with other Canadians
ISC did not meet its commitments to eliminate long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations communities and deficiencies for some water systems had not been addressed
ISC had not amended the operations and maintenance funding formula for First Nations water systems since it was first developed 30 years ago, and a salary gap contributed to problems in retaining qualified water system operators
No regulatory Regime was in place to help ensure access to safe drinking water in First Nations communities
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
UNDRIP is an interaction declaration adopted by the UN on the 13th of September 2007, to enshrine the rights that “constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity, and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world”. UNDRIP protects collective rights that may not be addressed in other human rights characters that emphasize individual rights, and it also safeguards the individual rights of Indigenous people.