Ansloos, J., & Cooper, A. (2023). Is Suicide a Water Justice Issue? Investigating Long-Term Drinking Water Advisories and Suicide in First Nations in Canada. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20(5), 4045.

First Nations experience disproportionate rates of suicide when compared to the general population. Various risk factors are identified to increase understanding of the prevalence of suicide among First Nations, but environmental dimensions of suicide are understudied. This study asks whether water insecurity, as reflected by long-term drinking water advisories (LT-DWA), has any bearing on the distribution of suicide in First Nations across Canada, and specifically in Ontario. To assess this, we established the proportion of First Nations with LT-DWAs in Canada and in Ontario that have had suicides occur between 2011 and 2016 through a review of media archives. This proportion was compared to census data on the proportion of First Nations with suicides in Canada and in Ontario between 2011 and 2016, and statistical significance of difference was determined through chi-square goodness of fit test. Overall, the findings were mixed. Nationally, there was no significantly difference of proportion of First Nations with LT-DWAs with combined (confirmed and probable) reported suicides occurring when compared to census proportions; however, at the provincial level, findings had significant differences. The authors conclude that water insecurity in First Nations, as indicated by the presence of a LT-DWA in First Nations across may be an important environmental dimension of suicide, contributing to enhanced risk for suicide in First Nations.