The Chiefs of Ontario sent a letter on July 19 to Premier Kathleen Wynne on the regulation “Taking Ground Water To Produce Bottled Water.” Here are two excerpts from that letter:
“First Nations across respective tertiary watersheds did not approve, condone or consent to the commercial bulk taking of water by …. for-profit companies. Furthermore, it remains the view of the Chiefs-in-Assembly that the Ministers, agencies, and/or five regional water directors designated as per the OWRA do not have the authority to make any unilateral/exclusive decisions that impact groundwater across the traditional homelands and treaty areas of respective First Nations. As such, we urge your government to cancel any and all commercial bulk water takings, including those that were conveniently renewed before your two year moratorium. Water authority and jurisdiction rests with the respective First Nations within their local tertiary watersheds”.
“Water is our precious gift from the Creator and the lifeblood of Mother Earth. Privatizing our waters for profit and export outside tertiary watersheds is not acceptable. The taking of bulk waters by corporate conglomerates and Ontario’s commercial bulk permitting program did not ever seek the free, prior and informed consent of First Nations peoples. No treaty in Canada has negotiated, nor has an Indigenous Nation consented to the taking of water in the manner contemplated by the Province of Ontario”.
More recently Turtle Island News reports that Nestlé Waters Canada met with the Six Nations Band Council’s Committee of the Whole on Monday (January 22). Nestlé was there to seek the Band Council’s support for its application to the provincial government to continue to draw water for its bottled water operations from Six Nations traditional territory.
Here are highlights from the Turtle Island News article
- “During the sometimes testy meet and greet session on Monday, elected Chief Ava Hill bluntly asked Nestlé representatives, ‘If Six Nations say we don’t agree with those permits, will you shut those plants down?'”
- Chief Hill stated, “Well the truth is you’re taking the water out of the ground and we don’t want you to.”
- Councillor Audrey Powless Bomberry accused the company of “getting rich off other people’s problems”.
- And given Monday’s meeting was a ‘meet and greet’ and not a formal consultation, Chief Hill also warned Nestlé, “We don’t want to see any of your propaganda saying that we consulted with Six Nations.”
- To read the full Turtle Island News article, please click here.
Wellington Water Watchers stands in solidarity with the Chiefs of Ontario and with the people of the Six Nations of the Grand River and their concerns about Nestlé’s water-takings.
As quoted in this article Nestlé Waters North America chief executive Tim Brown said in 2013 his company had enough to meet its water needs for a decade. “But we will always be looking for springs, because water is finite,”he added. “We’ll always be on the lookout for it, all around the world. And we will never sell a spring.”
The only solution to preventing Nestlé from taking our ‘finite’ water is for Premier Wynne to phase out permits to bottle water in Ontario.
Wellington Water Watchers