In the first of two episodes on Deshkan Ziibi, or the Thames River (which runs through the city of London) we look at the river’s health and the goal of being able to swim in, fish from and drink from the river safely.

With our guests, we consider the names of the river, it’s geography and health over time, and the current and future challenge of climate change. We talk about the sewage system and the problem of combined sewers and overflow. And we ask whose responsibility it is to keep the water clean, and who bears the brunt when it’s not.

Guests include: Emma Young and Brandon Graham from the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation’s Treaty, Lands and Environment team, Pat Donnelly from the City of London, and Karen Maaskant from the Upper Thames Valley Conservation Authority.

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Click here for this episode's transcript
Emma Young Emma Young, Sr. Environmental Officer at Chippewas of the Thames First Nation
Brandon Graham Brandon Graham, Treaty Research Coordinator at Chippewas of the Thames First Nation
Pat Donnelly Pat Donnelly, City of London
Karen Maaskant Karen Maaskant, Upper Thames Valley Conservation Authority
Antler/Thames River Antler/Thames River
Antler/Thames River Antler/Thames River

Links Mentioned in the Episode

  • Water Today - an independent organization that reports water quality data and boil water advisories that are issued by health units and municipalities in Canada.
  • Thames River Clear Water Revival - The Thames River (Deshkan Ziibi) Shared Waters Approach to Water Quality and Quantity.
  • London Free Press - “January's record rain exposes London's dirty sewage secret.” article about the January 11th 2020 flood that caused 68 million litres of sewage to spill into the Thames/Antler River.
  • The City of London - “Government of Canada announces $19.8 million in funding for flood mitigation at London’s wastewater treatment plants”
  • Our Living Waters - An explanation of combined sewer overflow and a link to open data for Wastewater Systems Effluent in Canada (including sewer overflow for the city of London)
  • Canadian Consulting Engineer - “Twelve cities ranked for combined sewer overflows.” An article highlighting the Ecojustice ranking of 12 Ontario cities and their practices for dealing with wastewater and stormwater run-off.
  • Jim MacDonald - Swim Drink Fish song.
  • Government of Ontario - A fish consumption guide to help you identify the types and amounts of fish that are safe to eat from more than 2,400 fishing locations in Ontario.
  • City of London - Fish and paddle guide for London, Ontario.
  • World Wildlife Fund - Canada’s 2020 Watershed Reports: A National Reassessment of Canada’s Freshwater

Additional Resources

The theme music is courtesy of

Social Media

  • @cottfntle - Chippewa of the Thames First Nations Treaty, Lands and Environment
  • @utrca - Upper Thames River Conservation Authority
  • @LondonCanada - City of London