The Drinking Water Internship interns have officially graduated. These interns endured 18 months of hard work and dedication, long hours of studying and working, and adapting to COVID along the way — and thrived. Members from Bimose Tribal Council, our partners, and Water First staff were there in Kenora to help the graduates mark the occasion.
The graduation ceremony started indoors, where interns were presented their certificates.
There was a calm sense of accomplishment in the room; faces full of achievement and excitement for the next step. For many, they will continue to support access to clean water in their home communities.
During his ceremony speech, Jon Kocis, HUB Water Treatment Services Manager of Bimose Tribal Council gave sound words of advice (adapted from Herbert V. Prochnow):
”If you want to leave footprints in the sands of time, you have to wear work boots.”
He continued with: “So, when you get out there on your first day — lace those boots tight, put that invisible cape on, stand tall and strong like the heroes that you are, and enjoy the journey.”
When the ceremony migrated outside, we were joined by Judy DaSilva, an Elder, activist and Environmental Health Coordinator from Grassy Narrows First Nation.
She led a water ceremony that was paired with a delicious feast of traditional foods.
We are all so incredibly proud of the graduates and excited for their next chapter. They are now newly minted members of the Water First Alumni Network, where they will continue to be supported to grow and have opportunities to support each other.