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Water First

Water First Education & Training Inc. is Canada’s leading charity dedicated to working in partnership with Indigenous communities to address local water challenges through education, training and meaningful collaboration.

Water First is guided by the Indigenous youth and young adults who participate in our programs, our Indigenous staff and board members, local Indigenous community partners, and by members of our Indigenous Advisory Council. Our collaborations are built on respect and meaningful partnerships, with Indigenous youth and community partners at the heart of our work. While we strive to meaningfully engage with many Indigenous individuals through our work, we do not identify as an Indigenous-led organization.

Our Values

Everyone has a right to safe, clean water.

The water crisis in Indigenous communities in Canada is unacceptable.

Skills training is critical to building sustainable solutions to water challenges in First Nations communities.

Collaborative programs with communities should integrate Indigenous values, knowledge, customs and traditions at every opportunity.

Our Approach

It is our approach that sets us apart. This approach has lead to successful partnerships and strong community up-take of our programs:

Meaningful collaborations and respectful relationships.

Our work with Indigenous advisory council members, industry specialists and First Nations communities ensures that we establish trust and learn from each other — delivering sustainable water programs that meet local priorities.

We hire and train locally.

We hire locally and train primarily young Indigenous adults to ensure communities retain the skills and knowledge gained where they can have a long-term impact.

Blending of traditional knowledge and western science.

With our partners, we weave Indigenous knowledge, values, and customs with western water science education, and interns and youth involved in our programs get out on the land and in the water.

Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter to stay up to date with our programs and how we are making a real difference, one community at a time.

Alumni graduate Amy Waboose working in her community drinking water treatment plant.