Data from 99 interviews about bottled water consumption is presented in this section in relation to the two main sets of questions asked during the interview process. The sources of water which are normally consumed by the respondents both within the home and from the land are presented in Table 1
. In the DTFN, most people drank bottled water in both the home and while on the land. In the KFN, although lower than the DTFN, roughly a third of the respondents drank bottled water while in the home. On the land, more similar results are seen in relation to the DTFN when examining bottled water consumption in that most respondents regularly drink bottled water. It should be noted that 2 females did not go on the land in the KFN; therefore, they were not included in the calculations for these statistics.
4.1. Worries about Health and Safety
When examining the reasoning behind individual preferences of water sources for consumption (see Table 2
), safety/health concerns were shown to play a crucial part in the decisions of respondents for their choices of safe drinking water, especially in the DTFN. For these calculations, the 2 individuals from the KFN who did not go on the land were not included.
It became apparent early in the interview process that there were sources that were considered by many respondents to be important natural water supplies. To analyze the degree of importance of these sources to the two communities, after the first few interviews, more questions were added about the perceived degree of safety regarding five natural water sources: Muskeg filtered water, spring water, rainwater, snow water, and ice water (see Table 3
). Because not everyone was asked about these specific sources during the first few interviews, the numbers used in calculating these percentages indicated in Table 3
was done using only the responses from people who were specially asked about, or in the case of the first few interviews, voiced an opinion of the quality of these natural sources of water. In the DTFN, all five sources were considered safe and important sources of water by a majority of the respondents. In particular, water filtered by muskeg was a particularly important and safe source of water for the male residents. In the KFN, muskeg water is much less significant as a source of drinking and the corresponding levels of trust were lower as well. Sources of spring water is not readily available in the immediate area and the related perceived levels of safety were also lower than average. Most water consumed on the land came from the Great Slave Lake in either liquid or frozen form.
In the DTFN, additional natural water sources beyond the five already mentioned that were considered good or safe were running water sources (20 people), standing water sources (7 people) and specific water sources (7 people). In the KFN, the Great Slave Lake (48 people), most natural sources (15 people), running water sources (4 people) and specific water sources (3 people) were mentioned as good or safe additional water sources.
One of the interview questions was why certain natural water sources were considered safe (see Table 4
). In the DTFN, the top three answers given were that muskeg water was naturally filtered, that the grotto spring was holy and built by Reverend Merriman, and that moving water is better. In the KFN, the three top reasons given why specific natural water sources were good were that it was clean, that it tasted good, and that it was easy access.
During the interview, the participants were asked what natural sources of natural water are not considered safe to drink (see Table 5
). In the DTFN, the top three answers for poor natural water sources were everywhere, lakes in general, and specifically Zama Lake. In the KFN, the majority mentioned the Hay River, which travels north up through the DTFN territory in the KFN territory. The two other top answers for poor natural water sources were most natural sources and ponds.
When asked why the natural water sources were considered unsafe (see Table 6
), the health concerns related to resource extraction in both areas were expressed as major points of concerns for natural sources of water. In the DTFN, oil and gas extraction activity was the biggest concern as to why people considered the natural water sources to be unsafe. Additionally, pollution, the dirtiness of the water, and the local sawmill were the most commonly given answers. In the KFN, the biggest concern over natural sources of water was pollution with additional concerns over the dirtiness of the water and oil and gas were the most common answers given. Respondents were able to offer more than one answer to this question.
4.2. Water Advisories
In the DTFN, 15 of the 49 households interviewed (30.6 percent) recalled having previously received boil water advisories for their tap water. In the KFN, only 2 of the 46 households interviewed remembered receiving individual water advisories; however, every year during spring break-up, the entire community is placed on a boil water advisory due to concerns of contamination of the tap water. In all cases of individual water advisories in both communities, only one household stated that they received a follow-up notice that their water was safe to drink.
4.3. Level of Available Information
Many of the interviewees in both communities did not know when their cisterns were last cleaned or tested. In the DTFN, 12 of 37 interviewees who had cisterns did not know when their cistern was last cleaned, and 16 of 37 interviewees did not know when their cistern was last tested. Nine of the 12 people who did not know when their cisterns were last cleaned regularly drank bottled water. Twelve of the 16 interviewees who did not know when their cistern was last tested drank only bottled water. In the KFN, 11 of 49 interviewees did not know when their cistern was last cleaned, and 10 of 49 interviewees did not know when it was last tested. For those who did not know when the cistern was last cleaned, 3 of 11 regularly drank bottled water. Of those who did not know when their cistern was last tested, 4 of 10 regularly drank bottled water.
Gender is presented in various tables to better understand the relationship between gender and consumption patterns (see Table 1
, Table 2
and Table 3
). In the DTFN, statistically significant relationships between gender and consumption patterns were shown in three of the four categories examined. Overall, female respondents (74.1 percent) were much more likely to regularly consume bottled water at home than the male respondents (54.6 percent). While on the land, the statistical difference was minimized since both a very large percentage of both men (81.8 percent) and women (81.5 percent) drink bottled water regularly. In the KFN, no significant relationships were indicated in the results for consumption patterns in the home. Overall, the home results indicate that fewer women (31.3 percent) drink bottled water than men (38.9 percent). While on the land, two statistically significant relationships between gender and consumption choices are shown. On the land, more women (83.3 percent) regularly drink bottled water than men (50.0 percent) and men are statistically more likely to consume natural sources of water.
In Table 3
, the various types of natural sources of water commonly used for drinking are examined. In the DTFN, for three of the five sources (muskeg, spring water and ice water) a significant relationship between gender and what sources are considered safe exists. In the DTFN, 90 percent of males considered muskeg water safe, versus 48.2 percent of females. Spring water was considered safe by 84.2 percent of males and 70.4 percent of female respondents. Ice water was considered safe by 82.4 percent of males while only 56.5 percent of females thought it was safe. However, in all cases, female respondents were more likely to consider the natural sources of water unsafe to drink than male respondents. In the KFN, significant relationships between gender and consumption choices existed for ice water (100 percent male and 84.4 percent females) and spring water (33.3 percent male and 9.4 percent female). Muskeg was the only natural water source considered safer by more females (37.5 percent) versus males (33.3 percent). The other two sources indicated similar relationships between male and female respondents in consumption patterns in relation to natural sources of water.
For ease of analysis in the age category, the data were broken down into 2 groups—members that were born after and including 1965, and member that were born before 1965. This date was chosen because it split the number of respondents roughly in half and was approximately the average age of the respondents. The results are presented in Table 7
. In the DTFN, 70 percent of those respondents who were born prior to 1965 primarily drank bottled water within the home versus 60 percent of those respondents who were born in 1965 or later. The only significant relationship indicated in this category of home water sources was in the KFN where 54.2 percent of respondents born prior to 1965 primarily drank bottled water versus 15.4 percent of those who were born in 1965 or later.
The opposite effect is noted when examining the natural water source consumption habits. In the DTFN, almost 4 out of 5 people (79.3 percent) that were born before 1965 drank bottled water while on the land, compared to 85 percent of people what were born after and including 1965. In the KFN, this same drinking pattern was also shown in that 69.6 percent of people born before 1965 drank bottled water on the land while 72 percent of people born after and including 1965 drank bottled water.