We called ourselves The Food Crew

Written by McKaylii Jawbone of Kebaowek First Nation, Water First Intern

I was a part of a two-year project to restore and enhance walleye spawning habitats in my community. Working with Ivan and Kacie made the project run so smoothly, we worked well as a team and we always had … Read More

Put the big fish back… and other fish facts

Walleye spawn in the spring as soon as the ice is out by depositing eggs over rocks and cobble shoals. The fertilized eggs fall into the cracks and spaces between the rocks to safely incubate and hatch.

Female walleye can carry up to 26,000 eggs per pound of body weight. … Read More

Alumni Update

Since graduating, the Interns have been meeting regularly to stay connected, to improve the program, and to pave the way for future interns. They recognize what a powerful experience they have had and want to support future cohorts to be even more successful.

Water First has recently implemented a Professional … Read More

Today is World Water Day

Today, Friday March 22nd, marks World Water Day. This year’s theme is “Leaving no one behind,” which speaks to the fact that in 2019, there remain billions of people around the world without access to safe, clean water. In Canada, many Indigenous communities remain without such access.

One of the … Read More

Saugeen First Nation students find satisfaction in a project well done

On a fall day in Saugeen First Nation, students were struggling with some more-challenging-than-usual planting conditions. After completing science workshops the day before at their school, these Grade 7 and 8 youth were excited to put their new knowledge to practice by planting a combination of 450 white spruce, white … Read More

Roots are claws that hold the earth in place

Waterside tree planting is important both to the local waterways and the people who live adjacent to them. Tree roots hold onto soil, preventing unnatural amounts of sand and dirt from entering the water systems, which can have a negative impact downstream and damage aquatic ecosystems. Trees provide organic material … Read More

“Drought” by Peter Hadfield & Cameron McKaque

A collaboration between Toronto-based cinematographer and photographer Peter Hadfield and graphic designer Cameron McKague has created a stunning book featuring 48 images of drained public swimming pools. The project is a critical exploration of Western society’s relationship with water and all proceeds will come to Water First.

Visit www.droughtbook.co for … Read More

Water First at AWWAO Conference

On January 29-31, 2019, Water First team members attended the 24th Annual Aboriginal Water and Wastewater Association of Ontario (AWWAO) Training Conference and Tradeshow in Thunder Bay, Ontario. 

Two graduates of the Water First Internship program, now Operators-In-Training at their communities’ water treatment plants attended the conference. Water First also … Read More

Wrap up at Kebaowek First Nation

On January 24 people braved the freezing temperatures and gathered at the Eagle Dome at Kebaowek First Nation to celebrate the completion of the Walleye Habitat Restoration project, a partnership between Kebaowek First Nation and Water First.

Throughout the two-year project, three large walleye spawning shoals were constructed at restoration … Read More

Water Tree at Matachewan First Nation

This past October, Water First collaborated with Matachewan First Nation to deliver a series of educational workshops at the local school and a tree-planting field trip in the community.

Students in the Indigenous program at Kirkland Lake District Composite school joined those from the First Nation to plant pine and … Read More

Internship program profiled in Water Canada magazine

The Water First Internship Program was featured in the January/February 2019 edition of Water Canada, a publication dedicated to covering a range of Canadian water issues. This edition of the magazine focused specifically on issues impacting Indigenous communities, as well as the work of individuals, communities and organizations addressing … Read More

Make a real difference to a long-standing problem

I was so proud to see the 10 interns graduate.

Not only because we had been through so much together over the last 15 months. And not only because I knew how much they had learned and grown both personally and professionally. But because looking at these 10 smiling and … Read More

Schools are getting on board with GUSH!

With the 2018/2019 school year underway, we are starting to book GUSH educational workshops in school boards across southern Ontario.

Last school year, GUSH workshops were delivered over 375 times, reaching over 9,000 students in Ontario. GUSH Workshops introduce Grade 7 and 8 students to the challenges many First Nation … Read More

Indigenous youth graduate from Water First Internship Program

Ten youth from seven First Nations achieve certifications to address drinking water and environmental water challenges

Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation, Manitoulin Island – Ten Indigenous youth were honoured this morning for successfully completing the Water First Internship Program at a graduation ceremony held on the powwow grounds of Aundeck … Read More

Birchmount’s Walk for Water

This past April, Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute held a Water Walk to raise awareness about the lack of access to safe, clean water. The Toronto District School Board published an article about it online. You can find the update here, or read it below.

 

Recently, staff and students … Read More

Fundraising concert to benefit Water First

Shout Sister Choir has chosen Water First as their non-profit of choice for two upcoming fundraising concerts in York region. The first event is Saturday June 9, 2018 at Eastridge Evangelical Church in Whitechurch-Stouffville. The second will be on Tuesday June 12, 2018 at Victory Baptist Church in East Guillimbury. … Read More

Habitat Restoration: Walleye spawning site in the Kipawa Watershed

Over the past year, Water First and Kebaowek First Nation collaborated on a restoration project to repair a damaged historical walleye spawning site at Bois Franc, Lake Kipawa. The restoration team included members from Kebaowek Land Management, staff from Water First, and consulting biologist Richard Rowe of FRi Ecological Services.… Read More

Minister’s Annual Report on Drinking Water 2017

At the end of last year, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change published it’s annual report that provides an overview of the work Ontario is doing to protect drinking water. Through the Ontario Community Environment Fund, Water First has received grants to help improve drinking water in nine … Read More

Money alone won’t solve the water crisis in Indigenous communities

At the end of March, Maclean’s published an editorial written by John and Bob Rae with the opinion that training and education are key to addressing boil water advisories. It will only be through collaboration and integrated training in the communities that a sustainable solution will be created.

You can … Read More

Reconciling Promises and Reality: Clean Drinking Water for First Nations

In February 2018, the David Suzuki Foundation released the second annual progress report on the effort to eliminate boil water advisories in First Nations, Reconciling Promises and Reality: Clean Drinking Water for First Nations. The report singled out our Water First Internship as an example of a successful initiative … Read More