AFN National Chief and CAW President Tour Little Salmon Carmacks and Celebrate Work to Improve Well Water

    OTTAWA, Aug. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Assembly of First Nations National Chief
Phil Fontaine and Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) President Buzz Hargrove
visited Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation in Yukon today to tour the
community and to celebrate the completion of work done to date by CAW
volunteer workers to improve the quality of well water in the community.
    The volunteer work in Little Salmon Carmacks is part of an ongoing
partnership between the Assembly of First Nations and CAW. CAW volunteers
worked over the summer in the community helping to repair or rebuild 27 out of
57 wells in the community. Many of the wells in the community have been under
a boil water advisory for over two years. CAW volunteers have also completed
work on a Native Canadians Centre in Toronto, with six other projects
currently under review by the joint AFN-CAW committee.
    "I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to all the CAW Volunteers
who came here to Little Salmon Carmacks this summer to work on improving the
water quality in the community," National Chief Fontaine said. "The
partnership between CAW and Assembly of First Nations has had a positive
impact and provides us with an approach to resolve some seemingly
insurmountable infrastructure concerns in First Nation communities," he
further added.
    The CAW will continue the work on the remainder of the wells next summer,
said CAW President Buzz Hargrove. "It is a disgrace that this situation has
not been dealt with properly by our federal government," said Hargrove. "Basic
rights such as clean drinking water should not be left to the private sector
or non-governmental organizations to pick up the slack where governments have
failed. The success of this partnership should be a challenge to all levels of
government to work side by side with the First Nations people of this country
to end social, political and economic inequality."
    "We were very happy to have CAW volunteers come into the community this
summer to help repair the wells," Little Salmon Carmacks Chief Eddie Skookum
noted. "After repeated unsuccessful efforts to get Indian and Northern Affairs
Canada to look at the issue we welcomed CAW volunteers support and assistance.
Safe, clean drinking water should be a right not a privilege in this country."

    The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Shannon Devine, CAW Communications Director,
(416) 302-1699 (cell); Joan McEwen, Director of Communications, (613) 241-6789
ext. 242, cell (613) 324-3329,

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