Abe Wabasse is in charge of the sewage plant in Kasabonika Lake First Nation. He worries about the overflow from the plant — it runs into the lake where people get their drinking water. (Jody Porter/CBC)
Residents coping with an overflowing sewage plant in Kasabonika Lake First Nation say they're still waiting for emergency help from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
A November 2011 report from Northern Waterworks to Aboriginal Affairs said "failure to take immediate action will only result in continual problems with this [sewage] system."
CBC News asked Aboriginal Affairs more than a week ago how it is responding to that report. A spokesperson said the media request is still being processed.
Kasabonika Lake First Nation, about 800 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, has been dealing with waste water spilling into the lake from the sewage plant for more than a decade.
Abe Wabasse, who oversees the plant, told visiting reporters in January how the First Nation has been forced to build an illegal trench off-reserve to redirect some of the excess sewage.
"We just go ahead and do it, otherwise we'd be killing our own people," Wabasse said.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy, who organized last month's media tour of troubled First Nations communities, said remote reserves often suffer from an out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude from bureaucrats.