The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) will be hosting a pre-engagement session for First Nations in British Columbia to informally discuss safe drinking water and overall water security issues/concerns in their communities. This feedback will help broadly inform a long-term national water strategy as well as help guide the direction on safe drinking water legislation reform. Formal engagement sessions regarding the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act and a National Water Strategy will be held in early 2021.
On behalf of the AFN Housing, Infrastructure, Water, and Emergency Services Sector, we would like to invite you to a Regional Water Roundtable Discussion hosted by the AFN Water Unit and the BCAFN Regional Water Coordinator. The virtual event will be a 2.5-hour discussion on December 15th, 2020 beginning at 9:30am.
The purpose of the Regional Water Roundtable Discussion is to hear concerns from First Nation members and representatives regarding water and wastewater issues that are critical and emerging in their region. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the impact of inadequate infrastructure and the importance of clean water in addressing pandemics.
The AFN Water Unit will use this information generated in the discussions to frame fulsome engagement sessions in the new year. The engagement sessions will also include repeal and replacement of the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act and co-development of a long-term strategy for First Nations Water and Wastewater.
We continue to advocate for and support the creation of First Nations-led policies and solutions related to access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water. The development of a long-term strategy for First Nations water and wastewater will work towards addressing the Speech from the Throne commitment to close the infrastructure gap by 2030 and to identify and develop sustainable and predictable funding mechanisms for First Nations water and wastewater.
We look forward to your attendance and to learn the concerns of your First Nation.