A young man with an activist’s heart, Eric Vautour has been involved with water and environmental issues since high school. As a teenager he worked on Sheguiandah’s Green Plan Project, a program that engaged youth in environmental actions like shoreline cleanups. Following high school, he did a contract as a community-based drinking water monitor. Now a Water First Intern, he envisions a future helping other First Nations communities tackle boil water advisories.
“This Internship has taught me more about the situation of clean water in our province,” said the 24-year-old. “I didn’t know how many First Nations communities were without clean water. I really want to change that in the next few years.”
Following Eric’s contract as a community-based drinking water monitor, he moved to Sudbury for a year. Work was difficult to find, and he got by on his savings. He also used that time to join the Greater Sudbury Food Policy Council, an organization that advocates for universal access to quality food.
During the Internship, Eric has enjoyed learning about a variety of drinking water systems in Manitoulin’s other six First Nations communities, as well as gaining more in-depth knowledge about water quality testing. He’s sure he wants to enrol in a post-secondary program once the Internship ends, but is still considering what program that will be.
“I now realize I’m passionate about two things,” said Eric. “Healthy and clean food, and healthy and clean water.”