Date of Award

January 2015

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

School of Public Health

First Advisor

Jan Dunn

Abstract

This study assessed the sanitary infrastructure and policies affecting the environmental health aspects of three state-recognized American Indian Tribes in Connecticut. A historical search was conducted to gather records pertaining to the Paucatuck Eastern Pequot, Golden Hill Paugussett, and Schaghticoke Tribes at the state and town levels to determine what, if any, data were available on drinking water and wastewater quality and disposition on Tribal lands. This investigation was supplemented by questionnaires and an on-site survey of sanitation conducted in cooperation with the Connecticut Department of Public Health. The survey included the collection of drinking water samples for analyses along with an examination of existing septic systems for proper location, maintenance, and setback distances. Results revealed a lack of basic information historically on the construction and quality of drinking water wells serving these Tribes, as well as inadequate construction and maintenance of on-site wastewater disposal facilities. Compared to the majority of state residents who have access to environmental health assistance through the local health departments, for various reasons these American Indian Tribal members were underserved and disenfranchised from these public health services. This paper discusses the special status of, and the current regulatory framework in Connecticut for state-recognized tribes with respect to water, the results of analytical tests and surveys performed, and suggests improvements for attaining environmental parity for this minority population.

Comments

This is an Open Access Thesis.

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