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 contributing factors to this situation is that Indigenous communities do not receive comparable education, training and employment supports when it comes to water science and management. These supports are critical in ensuring the long-term sustainability of Indigenous water systems.
Water First is addressing these challenges by supporting First Nations communities to solve water challenges through education, training and meaningful collaboration. We do this through:
- Meaningful collaborations and respectful relationships. With our priority in creating respectful relationships – Water First’s programs are uniquely adaptable to each community’s needs and context.
- Hiring and training locally. We primarily hire young Indigenous adults to ensure communities retain the skills and knowledge gained where they can have a long-term impact.
- Blending of western science and traditional knowledge. With our partners, we weave First Nations’ knowledge, values, and customs with western water science education, and interns and youth involved in our programs get out on the land and in the water.
With investments from our supporters, we are part of a solution that is working – one person and one community at a time.