Potlotek First Nation struggling to make Thanksgiving meals with dirty water
Published Saturday, October 8, 2016 6:31PM ADT
Last Updated Saturday, October 8, 2016 6:41PM ADT
The community of Potlotek First Nation is still facing ongoing water issues, making preparations for holiday meals difficult.
Residents are relying on portable showers, a laundromat on wheels and bottled drinking water over the long Thanksgiving weekend.
“I'm not going to be satisfied until they get this issue fixed up and it means having safe drinking water for our community,” said resident Sandra Basque-Johnson.
The discouloured and foul-smelling water has been deemed not dangerous by government officials. But the ruling isn’t sitting well with many.
“Who wouldn't be pissed off?” said Basque-Johnson. “Anybody would be pissed off when somebody is trying to convince you the water is consumable. It's not consumable to me because it's not safe.”
Resident Bernadette feels the government is trying to downplay the situation.
“The problem is real and we need immediate help,” she said.
As officials try and search for an alternative source of drinking water in the community, the drilling of five test wells will begin early next week.
“That will be one of the solutions for sure,” said Band Council CEO Lindsay Marshall. “We do have a tower to replace, new water lines to be installed, a new plant – all of that is going to play into having safe, clean water.
Marshall is skeptical of reports that the water hasn't caused long-term health problems.
“We want an independent study so that we will know for sure. If it's not the water, it will be proven to us. The community of Potlotek want proof,” she said.
Marshall and other community members are now looking at raising the money, for such a study if doesn’t end up being federally funded.
In the meantime, this Thanksgiving weekend will be remembered as one where the water arrived on trucks.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.