It’s a situation they’ve dealt with before, and they’re sick of it.
Residents living on Potlotek First Nation say their water is so dirty, they’re hesitating to wash clothes with it.
“No community should have to go through this,” says resident Eliza Marshall. “We're in Canada. We’re not overseas in Africa where it's poor.”
An email from Health Canada to Potlotek Chief Wilbert Marshall states the latest tests show both manganese and iron concentrations in the drinking water supply exceed the aesthetic objectives set out in the guidelines for Canadian drinking water quality.
“Our community is in a serious crisis right now,” says resident Bernadette Marshall. “I'm tired of it, our elders are tired, the young mothers are tired, the whole community is tired of it.”
In a key campaign platform, the Trudeau Liberals vowed to end the epidemic of bad water on Canada's reserves and spend $141.7 million to eliminate water issues. But for the people of Potlotek, this is the second time in just a year they've had problems with their water.
“We're trying to come up with a temporary solution for now, but long-term something needs to be done,” says Chief Marshall. “It's going to take a while. We don't know what to do anymore.”
The schools on Potlotek First Nation were open Tuesday, but Chief Marshall says he plans on meeting with school board officials to make a decision on whether they will close.
“You can't even bathe, you can't brush your teeth, so what do you do?” asks Chief Marshall.
The band has tried drilling, but Chief Marshall says the water in the wells is even worse. For now, the community is using bottled water available at the community centre.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.