Six Nations of the Grand River, which is located approximately 20 kilometers southeast of Brantford, Ontario, is made up of Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca, Onondaga and Tuscarora peoples, totalling 190 kilometres squared (Figure 1). An environmental study in this region revealed approximately 78 percent of wells are contaminated with Coliform bacteria, proving the wells an untrustworthy source of drinking water (Burnett, 2005). The newly-built Six Nations Water Treatment Plant is located near the northern boundary of the community, however only 500 homes, businesses, and other buildings are connected to it. This leaves the remainder of the 12 271 residents no option other than to buy bottled water or drive to the facility to pick up treated water themselves (The Hamilton Spectator, 2014).
The land cover of the area is classified as cropland, improved pasture and forage crops, unimproved pasture and range land, productive woodland, unproductive woodland, swamp, marsh or bog (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 2015). The area contains a three-kilometre-long stream and has roughly eighteen kilometres of the Grand River passing through its northern edge. The Six Nations Water Treatment Plant collects water from a single point along the Grand River. A DEM of the study site reveals that it is quite flat and has little topographic variation (MNRF, 2013).
Figure 1: A map displaying the extent of the Six Nations of the Grand River community as well as where the water treatment plant is located within the community.