By all accounts the September 16 Water is a Human Right - Water Warriors for Life conference was an overwhelming success.
More than 200 participants and presenters were in attendance to explore the many aspects of water privatization and the struggles that First Nations face maintaining control of their water and sewer systems.
Conference co-sponsors – CUPE Island Water Watch, the Halalt First Nation and the Council of Canadians – vowed to continue to build on the partnerships developed as a result of the conference.
Willie Seymour of the Halalt First Nation, whose skill and insights helped to make the event successful, chaired the event. Keynote speaker Maude Barlow, chairperson of the Council of Canadians, spoke about the importance of protecting public water. She was joined by many speakers, including Island Water Watch’s Rodger Oakley, Chief James Thomas of the Halalt First Nation, Louise Mandel Q.C., Ardith Walkem from EAGLE, and Chief Gary John from the Seaton Lake Band.
Following the Halalt conference, Maude Barlow drew a crowd of close to 1000 as she opened Victoria’s Water in the City Conference on Saturday, September 16, 2006. Many CUPE members were in attendance and CUPE BC and CUPE Island Water Watch are sponsors of Water in the City.