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Book Chapter

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Indigenous Peoples, Drinking Water, Fiduciary Duty, Canada


Canada is at a crossroads. The gap between our national self-image as a country that respects human rights and the reality of socio-economic inequality and exclusion demands a re-engagement with the international human rights project and a recommitment to the values of social justice and equality affirmed in the early years of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This book sketches a blueprint for reconceiving and retrieving social rights in diverse spheres of human rights practice in Canada, both political and legal. Leading academics and activists explore how the Charter and administrative decision making should protect social rights to health, housing, food, water and the environment; how homelessness and anti-poverty strategies could incorporate international and constitutional rights; how the federal spending power, fiduciary obligations towards Aboriginal people, and substantive equality for women and people with disabilities, can become tools for securing social rights; and how social protest movements can interact with courts and urban spaces to create new locifor social rights claims. This book provides inspiration as well as an indispensable resource for all those who share an interest in advancing human rights and social justice in Canada.

The focus of this chapter is relations of injustice and finding a route for realizing a core social right that many Indigenous peoples live without: access to safe drinking water. This chapter explores whether fiduciary law could be the enabling instrument for Indigenous peoples residing on reserves to gain consistent access to safe drinking water.


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