Drinking Water

The Internship Program

In many First Nations communities, the issue of boil-water advisories has a clear association with the shortage of certified people to work in local water treatment plants. Indigenous communities do not receive comparable education, training and employment support when it comes to water science and management compared to the rest of the country. These supports are critical in ensuring the long-term sustainability of Indigenous water systems.

The internship program was born from community feedback, guidance and partners coming together with a focus on training and education to create local solutions. The internship trains primarily young, local Indigenous adults to become certified water treatment plant operators and to work within the environmental water field. During a 15-month paid opportunity, participants receive customized skills training and tutoring to obtain certification, along with on-the-job experience in their local water plants.

Water First is will be launching the internship program in more communities in 2020 and adapting it to best address local drinking water concerns.



“I came here for a job, and ended here with a career.”



The Communities

Click on an icon to learn a bit about the intern(s) in that community



Latest Drinking Water Stories


Internship program wins 2019 Water’s Next award

June 19th, 2019

Each year, Water Canada recognizes and celebrates the achievement of people, projects and technology that address and improve water issues in Canada through the Water’s Next Award.  The Water First Internship was one of the finalists for the 2019 Water’s Next Award in the category of Projects and Technology – … Read More

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Alumni Update

April 1st, 2019

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

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Internship program profiled in Water Canada magazine

January 21st, 2019

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

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