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Medical teams, new water systems part of federal commitment to Attawapiskat, chief says

Attawapiskat Chief Ignace Gull said he is optimistic about the future of his community following a commitment from the federal government to improve failing water systems on the remote First Nation. Seamus O'Regan, the minister for Indigenous Services, was one of several government representatives who visited the community on Sunday for a town-hall style meeting, after a state of emergency was declared in Attawapiskat, earlier in July.Alvin Fiddler, grand chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation, a political organization representing First Nations in Northern Ontario, accompanied O'Regan on the tour of the fly-in community of approximately 2,000, located 500 kilometres north of Timmins, Ont.Attawapiskat's band council declared the state of emergency after water tests showed potentially harmful levels of trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) in the tap water. "[People] are concerned," Gull said. "They can't bathe, they can't take a shower in it and they can't wash their food or vegetables or anything that they have to do on a daily basis at their home.""People are really not in a very good mood or in a safe mood to keep using the water when it's not safe to drink."> This is what #Attawapiskat residents do to obtain safe, clean drinking water. This is Ontario, Canada, in the 21st century.

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