Tin Roof Global
Water First began working with First Nations in Canada in 2012, after being challenged on many occasions about why we weren’t working with communities here at home experiencing water challenges.
Our projects with Indigenous communities were small at first, but within a few years accounted for 90% of program resources. In 2016, Tin Roof Global changed its name to Water First Education & Training and changed its mandate to work solely with Indigenous communities in Canada.
Shawanaga First Nation Baseline Water Quality Study
Unfortunately, the community is still trucking in drinking water today.
Officially Water First
Our mission is to help address water challenges in Indigenous communities in Canada through education, training and meaningful collaboration.
Indigenous Youth Graduate From Water First Internship Program
“We are very proud of the graduates, who have studied and worked hard since early 2017 to obtain certification in drinking water treatment and environmental water quality monitoring,” said Water First executive director John Millar.
“These young women and men have shown incredible passion and commitment to building sustainable water systems in our communities, and today we honour that passion and commitment,” said Kevin Debassige, technical services manager for the United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising (UCCMM).
Wrap up at Kebaowek First Nation
Throughout the two-year project, three large walleye spawning shoals were constructed at restoration sites identified in consultation with the community elders, restoration biologist and Water First staff.
We would like to thank the community for their support throughout the project and the interns for their dedication and hard work to make this such a successful fish habitat restoration project.
Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikimach
This three-year project includes both a contaminant study to establish baseline mercury and heavy metals concentrations in the soil, water, and traditionally harvested fish, and a community-based fish habitat restoration and education project in the Caniapiscau River watershed. Three local young adults were hired as interns for the project — Lawrence Mameanskum, Wayne Nattawappio, and Kabimbetas Mokoush — and have so far received hands-on training for water quality analysis, fish & soil sampling, fish biology, fish population assessment, and fish habitat restoration.
Empowering Indigenous youth to develop a passion for water science
Water First worked with Christian Island Elementary school to deliver both indoor and outdoor water science workshops to every class. Students engaged in STEM-based learning activities such as biodiversity while observing local aquatic wildlife and plants. Students developing a passion for water science will help to end the disparity of Indigenous representation in the STEM fields.
Water First is launching our Growing Roots pilot in two other First Nations communities in Ontario and Manitoba in the spring of 2020, along with our second trip back to Chimnissing to support the students implementing their projects.
Bimose Tribal Council and Water First Announce New Internship
Launch of The Georgian Bay Drinking Water Internship
Collaboration in Labrador Began This Summer
Outdoor Program Leads to Grade 9 Geography Credits
Through land-based activities that related to the geography curriculum, the students earned their credits while participating in Beausoleil First Nation’s Wind and Water Monitoring Project, the first collaboration of its kind within Water First programming.
With the support of community knowledge keepers, Water First instructors incorporated the ongoing monitoring project to support the students in their learning and data collection. What students learned from local knowledge experts from their community made the program place-based, culturally relevant, and strengthened their connection to their community.
Fourth Drinking Water Internship Underway
Indigenous Schools team completes a record number of programs throughout Spring/Summer
- Dokis First Nation (ON)
- Brunswick House First Nation (ON)
- Kuujjuaq Inuit Village (QC)
- Pinaymootang & Lake Saint Martin First Nations (MB)
- Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation (ON)
- Sheshegwaning & M'Chigeeng First Nations (ON)
- Magnetawan & Henvey Inlet First Nations (ON)
- Long Point First Nation (QC)
- Beausoleil & Wasausking First Nations (ON)
- Saugeen Ojibway Nation (ON)
- The Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach (QC), and
- Thunder Bay (ON).
A new program being developed by the Indigenous Schools team, Full Circle, has students learning about the entire water treatment process using flash cards, pipes and more. To bring the lesson 'full circle', the students visit a local water treatment plant. The students are showed the real-life versions of many of the stages of the water treatment process that they had learned in class, including intake pipes, UV lightbulbs for disinfecting and slow sand filters.