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Dashboard of the Long Term Drinking Water Advisories on Public Water Systems on First Nations Reserves between 2015 and 2021.Dashboard of the Long Term Drinking Water Advisories on Public Water Systems on First Nations Reserves between 2015 and 2021.

Geospatial analyst creates online app to raise awareness of the water crisis in First Nation communities

While libraries across Canada celebrate geographic information systems Nov. 17 as GIS Day, Leddy Library’s geospatial data analyst Carina Luo decided to use the technology to raise awareness about the ongoing water crisis in First Nation communities.

Access to safe and reliable drinking water is easy for most Canadians, however many First Nations communities have long been experiencing challenges to accessing safe drinking water,” said Luo, who provides geospatial services to the campus community through the Academic Data Centre.

As of Nov. 1, there were a total of 99 drinking water advisories in effect in First Nations communities across Canada, according to the most recent data available at the time of Luo’s study.

An expert in the field of GIS, Luo collected data and used Esri StoryMap, an online GIS platform that allows researchers to combine interactive maps with text, photos, videos and other multimedia content, to create The Water Crisis in Canada's First Nations Communities: Examining the progress towards eliminating long-term drinking water advisories in Canada.

The resource presents the water crisis in a spatial context to visualize the locations of drinking water advisories across Canada and uses statistical and visual tools to summarize the advisory data in terms of their duration, advisory type, size of population affected.

“While research is still emerging, there are significant gaps in the knowledge of multi-dimensional impacts of drinking water crisis that go beyond physical illness to affect the economy as well as the social and cultural health of First Nations in Canada,” said Luo. “There are little longitudinal and systematic studies of drinking water and Indigenous communities across Canada.”

GIS technologies have proven to be highly effective for performing site selection, detecting patterns and relationships hidden in the data, understanding changes over time, and making predictions.

“The true power of GIS lies in its capability to perform spatial analysis — a process which you examine problems geographically to better understand our world,” said Luo. “Answering important questions like where things are, how they relate, what it all means, and what actions to take.”

Luo hopes the resource can increase people’s awareness of the long-standing issue of inadequate access to safe drinking water in First Nations communities across Canada, noting that it is important to acknowledge that the water crisis is also reflective of and compounded by the underlying economic, social, political marginalization, and disadvantages faced by First Nations peoples of Canada.

The application also helps to track progress on the government’s promise to end drinking water advisories on public systems on reserves.

“I hope this research can provide evidence to advocate for the government to expand its efforts from solely monetary investments towards a broader, evidence-based, and multi-faceted approach that can addresses issues related the underlying social, economic, and environmental factors that affect water provision, safety, and quality in First Nations communities.”

Law professor Danardo JonesLaw professor Danardo Jones will discuss the role and composition of municipal police services boards in an online workshop Nov. 17.

Oversight of municipal police services subject of Wednesday workshop

On Wednesday, Nov. 17, the Windsor Law Centre for Cities (C4C) will welcome Windsor Law professor Danardo Jones for a virtual session exploring the role and composition of municipal police services boards, police services budgets, and more.

During the session, Prof. Jones will discuss the police oversight framework in Ontario, participatory rights of citizens in the governance of local police services, and best practices for engaging with public officials on policing matters. He will also review critical sections of the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act.

“The first step to constructive community engagement with these oversight and governance bodies is having an awareness of their structures and powers,” says C4C director and law professor Anneke Smit. “We are delighted that Prof. Jones will share his extensive expertise on police oversight with interested community members through this workshop.”

Jones joined the Faculty of Law as an assistant professor in January 2021, with years of criminal law practice and advocacy experience, having worked as a staff lawyer at various Legal Aid organizations across Eastern Canada (Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia) and Ontario. He also served as director of legal services for the African Canadian Legal Clinic. In that role, Jones intervened in precedent-setting cases before the Supreme Court of Canada.

Jones’ research interests include criminal law, criminal procedure, criminal sentencing, police oversight, and race and the law. A recent profile, authored by C4C student research associate Princess Doe, is available on the Windsor Law Centre for Cities website.

Wednesday’s session is free and open to the public, and attendance by community members interested in advocating before the Windsor Police Services Board or other police boards is especially welcomed. Advance registration is required via the C4C website.

Vanessa Harnish, Austin Di PietroVanessa Harnish and Austin Di Pietro are among the UWindsor grads who will lend their musical talents to the Broadway Bunch this weekend.

Musical revue promises a bunch of entertainment

UWindsor alumni are among the performers eager to bring musical theatre back to Windsor this weekend in a revue entitled The Broadway Bunch.

The cast list features grads Sara Fontaine (BA 2009), Kaitlyn Karns (BA 2018, M.Ed 2020), Florine Ndimubandi (BComm 2020), and Sean Sennett (BFA 2019) with Pierre Bayuga, Benjamin Doncom, and David Burrows.

Backing musicians include pianist Nicholas Morvay (BMus 2002, M.Ed 2003), drummer Vanessa Harnish (BMus 2008, B.Ed 2009), trumpeter Austin Di Pietro (BMus 2018), and saxophonist Sebastian Bachmeier (BMus 2018, B.Ed 2021).

Performances are set for Friday and Saturday, Nov. 19 and 20, at Meteor, 138 University Ave. West. Admission is $25 and seating is limited; for tickets, email broadwaybunch.windsor@gmail.com.

Rotaract logoAn online meeting Monday, Nov. 22, will introduce the youth service club Rotaract and how to get involved.

Session to introduce youth service club

An online information session will introduce attendees to the Rotaract youth service club, Monday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m.

Rotaract clubs work side-by-side with Rotary International to bring together people ages 18 years and older to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun through service in meeting the world’s most pressing challenges.

Third-year political science student Robert Kidd is president of the Windsor (1918) Rotaract Club. Mentored by UWindsor faculty and staff members who are members of the Rotary Satellite Club of Windsor (1918), he enjoys being part of something larger than himself and being able to meet people from all over.

“Rotaract club is the perfect place for a small group of individuals to make a difference locally and contribute to making a difference internationally,” he says.

Monday’s meeting is open to students and recent grads of University of Windsor and St. Clair College, as well as young staff and faculty members and members of the Windsor-Essex community.

“The more hands, the better,” says Kidd. “Let’s have fun serving the world!”

To receive the link to the attend, complete the form at https://forms.office.com/r/PG82z7QCxR.

University appoints Acting Vice-President, Human Resources

Daniella Beaulieu, executive director, academic initiatives, in the Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic, has accepted an appointment as acting vice-president, human resources, for a six-month term, effective immediately.

graphic of Shakespeare next to violinThe Windsor Symphony Orchestra performs “Music Inspired by Shakespeare” this weekend.

Concert to draw on Shakespearean themes

The plays of William Shakespeare are the inspiration behind this weekend’s performance by the Windsor Symphony Orchestra.

The program will feature incidental music to two of the bard’s best-known tragedies by composers David Diamond and Dimitri Shostakovich.

Actors Sara Farb and Antoine Yared, who have performed at the Stratford Festival, will re-enact scenes from each on the stage of the Capitol Theatre.

Tickets are available for viewing online or seeing the 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Nov. 21, in person. Find details on the concert website.

emoticonsThis week’s wellness tip offers ways to facilitate healthy emotional expression.

Healthy expression of emotions subject of suggestions

The ability to express one’s emotions in a healthy manner can have a positive impact on health and well-being, says Human Resources.

It shares ways to help facilitate healthy emotional expression in a message sent Tuesday to UWindsor faculty and staff:

  • Be optimistic. By focusing on the positive, you will find it easier to express yourself in a range of situations while enjoying the many wonders of life.
  • Cut the distractions. Once you turn off the noise, you will be better able to tap into your inner feelings and express them outward.
  • Practise acceptance. Accepting that aspects of your life are out of your control will make you feel better while freeing up your mind to become more emotionally expressive.
  • Forgive. Whether you have not forgiven yourself or someone else, holding a grudge is the antithesis of expression.
  • Be grateful. It is pretty hard to be unhappy while feeling thankful. Appreciate what you have and you will be better able to express a sense of joy.

Read the entire Wellness Tip of the Week.