Meet the interns and community mentors, both current and past, who have worked with Water First. Click on an individual for a brief biography.
“I grew up with family in the water treatment field and always really enjoyed what they were doing. I saw the job posting in the band newsletter and jumped on the amazing opportunity to pursue a career as an operator.
I live on an island and we do lots of swimming, canoeing, and spending lots of time on and around the water. In 2012 when I was in Grade 6, my class went on a field trip to the water plant. I knew very little about the water before being a part of Water First, but since then, I’ve always wanted to work in the water treatment plant. The few things I did know about water quality were just helping do a few in the field tests with the band office.
I am doing this for myself, to better my own knowledge, and to help my community or other communities that struggle to have clean drinking water. I am doing this to help preserve our First Nation brothers and sisters.
I have truly loved my experience with the Water First Internship Program. I have enjoyed being able to learn how to take care of the water and how to help others understand why we treat the water. I also enjoy every in-person training weeks; they are always a blast with good memories!”
Before starting the restoration project, Ivan was working with Land Management at Kebaowek First Nation in various forestry-related jobs. As the mentor of the group, Ivan shared extensive knowledge about the traditional lands and waterways surrounding the community.
He said that he applied for the mentor position because it gave him the opportunity to work with other people and to learn about different aspects of restoration from the biologist and Water First staff. “I have fished my whole life on Lake Kipawa but I never knew how vulnerable the fish are.” Ivan appreciates the knowledge that he has gained about walleye, their habitat, and restoration techniques during the project.
Ivan hopes that he can continue providing knowledge and guidance to youth in the community. “Knowledge is the key, learning from each other and getting the knowledge out there can help the fisheries for the future. I love the fact that the youth in school are being taught about environmental stewardship and restoration through the Water First education workshops.”