Thank you for a successful year!

Thank you to all the schools who hosted GUSH workshops in the 2018/2019 school year for contributing to the success and awareness of our organization and programs. It is incredible to have teachers and principals all over the province reach out to us because they know the value of educating learners about water science and Indigenous water challenges.

We are happy to be ending the year on a high note, and we are proud of the overall success of the program! In the past year, we have taught over 300 workshops, bringing the grand total to 1,475 workshops taught since GUSH began. Over 20 school boards in southern Ontario have hosted workshops and approximately 40,000 students have learned about First Nations water challenges through hands-on water science lessons.

The Communities

We will not be offering GUSH workshops in the 2019/2020 academic year.

However, Water First will still have a presence in schools because raising awareness of Indigenous water challenges and the sacredness of water as a resource is incredibly important.

Stay tuned to see what’s next! Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter for updates.

Any immediate questions can be directed to Dillon Koopmans at or 1-800-970-8467 extension 104.

The Staff

  • Dillon Koopmans, B. Ed., OCT

    Educational Programs Manager

  • Dillon holds Bachelor degrees in Geography and Education and has significant teaching experience in the junior, intermediate and senior divisions. He is also engaged as a teacher facilitator in several youth leadership courses, including Indigenous Leadership Gatherings, at the Ontario Educational Leadership Centre. Dillon is of Potawatomi descent with ancestral roots from the Parry Sound area.

  • Ted Stableforth, M.Ed., B.PHE.

    School Outreach

  • Ted was a Principal in the Simcoe District School Board for 10 years and a teacher for 25 years. Ted brings to Water First a wealth of educational and and administrative experience and a passion for educational program development and school outreach.

  • Olga Kalomiris, Hon.B.A., B.Ed.

    Outreach Instructor

  • Olga is an Ontario-certified teacher in the junior, intermediate and senior divisions, specializing in Geography, the Social Sciences, and Health and Physical Education. As an Outreach Instructor with Water First, Olga is committed to engaging and empowering youth, while raising awareness about First Nations water challenges.

  • Simone Butters

    Outreach Instructor

  • Simone is an Ontario Certified Teacher (qualified to work in the primary, junior and intermediate divisions), and an environmentally conscious citizen with a passion for social justice. While her specialization is in Science and Languages, she has also taught Geography. As an Outreach Instructor at Water First, Simone aims to positively influence change in society by educating young people with a hands-on approach about real-world First Nations water challenges in connection with water science.

  • Adrianna Bilinski, B. Ed., B.A.

    Outreach Instructor

  • Adrianna is an Ontario Certified Teacher, and a woman of Ojibwe decent front Beausoleil First Nation. She holds her Bachelors degrees in History, Gender Studies, and Education. As an educator — both outside and within Water First — her primary focus is to raise awareness of the historical and current question of equity and equality in Canada through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit views.