A framework for how we work

Our Strands of Success stem from an ongoing reflection on the essential qualities of our work that produce our strongest relationships and greatest achievements. They are deeply woven into our operations, how we ensure our work is meeting real community needs, as well as in the design and delivery of our education and training programs.

Trust Building

Ensure that respect, honesty, transparency, humility, and integrity are fundamental to our engagements.

Meaningful Partnerships

Fully committed to collaborations built on open communication, mutual knowledge exchanges, and common goals.

Lasting Results

Consistently strive toward sustainable outcomes, with skills and benefits remaining within Indigenous communities for the long-term.

the Water First strands of success

In the words of our partners

Why we chose this image

A braid is three long strands woven together. It is a simple, but effective, representation to express the many complicated meanings and purposes of our work. The act of braiding strengthens the potential of a single strand by giving it support. One strand is easily broken, but when many strands are braided together, it is nearly impossible to break. An important property of the basic braid is that when you remove one strand it unlinks the other two.

Through our partnerships, we acknowledge and respect that many Indigenous communities where we work use the braid in practical and spiritual ways within their daily lives. One example of this is sweetgrass.

Indigenous staff member Adrianna Bilinski explains, “In my first Lodge I was gifted the sweetgrass and that was paramount to my sense of belonging as an Anishinaabe Kwe. Working with Water First has had the same effect. Sweetgrass is a sacred medicine that is always braided together. It is both empowering and gratifying to see this idea reflected in the image of the strands, and reflected in the thoughts and actions of those within the organization.”

The strands of a braid represent the strength of individuals and communities coming together. We see the symbolism in the braid reflected in the way we operate as an organization.