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Abstract

As of 2011, 39% of drinking water systems on Canadian First Nations’ reserves could be classified as high risk, or unequipped to safely deal with the infiltration of a pollutant (Neegan Burnside 2011a). In recent years, some First Nations have contracted water services from neighboring population centres through ‘Municipal Type Agreements’, or ‘MTAs’. Using a unique data set of 804 First Nation water systems, we explore both factors that influence participation in MTAs, and the effect of participation on the likelihood that a First Nation will be under a boil water advisory. Our empirical analysis consists of two probit models. The first model describes the likelihood that a MTA agreement will emerge between a First Nation and neighbouring population centre. The second estimates the likelihood that a First Nation will be under a boil water advisory. Our primary finding is that MTAs reduce the likelihood of a boil water advisory being in effect on a reserve. This is an important consideration when developing incentives or institutions that influence infrastructure collaboration between First Nations and Canadian population centres.

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