AFN National Chief Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak Calls for Secure Clean Water for Future Generations on World Water Day

Published: Mar 22, 2024Press Release

(March 22, 2024 – Unceded Algonquin Territory, Ottawa, Ontario) – On World Water Day, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak highlighted the importance of joint efforts to protect water and urged the federal government to fulfill its commitment to eliminate all boil water advisories on First Nations communities and ensure long-term investments in clean drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in the upcoming Federal Budget.

“As we mark World Water Day, we are reminded that water is life. We must take care of the water so it can take care of us,” said AFN National Chief Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak. “It is critical that we protect our water sources. First Nations continue to lack access to safe drinking water and wastewater. This is affecting First Nations health, safety, well-being, and education.
Water is a basic human right as affirmed by our Treaties and the United Nations yet remains out of reach for our Peoples. Canada must continue to address boil water advisories, as this government is failing to meet its international obligations.”

The AFN calls on Canada to reaffirm its commitment to ensure access to safe drinking water and sanitation for First Nations as an essential service. This includes eliminating all long-term boil water advisories and ensure clean, safe drinking water, wastewater management, and related infrastructure on First Nation lands through sustainable, long-term investments in the upcoming Federal Budget to cover essential capital investments and funds for critical operations and maintenance.

We call for investments for First Nations’ active participation in water stewardship and management in accordance with our First Nation laws, governance, and knowledge systems. These investments will signal a significant step forward for Canada in fulfilling its commitments and obligations, not only improving the living conditions for First Nations but also contributing to the overall prosperity and well-being of First Nations across the country.

“The AFN lifts up our First Nations women that are leaders as Water Walkers for their advocacy in ensuring water is preserved, protected, and respected for future generations. Water provides life and nourishment to our planet. In recognition of this year’s theme, “Water for prosperity and peace,” we acknowledge your wisdom, resilience, and meaningful stewardship,” concluded AFN National Chief Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak.


The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization that works to advance the collective aspirations of First Nations individuals and communities across Canada on matters of national or international nature and concern.

Contact information:

Jennifer Stern
Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
(343) 576-8956 (mobile)
[email protected]