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.
How we got here
Founded in 2009 to bring drinking water resources to rural schools in Uganda, we provided training on the operations and maintenance of the water and sanitation systems we installed. Water First began working with Indigenous communities in Canada in 2012, after being challenged and inspired on numerous occasions about why we weren’t working with communities here in Canada experiencing water challenges.
Our projects with Indigenous communities were initially small but grew quickly. Within a few years, our collaborations accounted for nearly 90% of program resources. Water First dedicated itself exclusively to working with Indigenous communities in 2016. We focus on technical skills training in the fields of both drinking water and environmental water, as well as water science education for Indigenous youth.
Where We Work
The communities we have collaborated with.