The water crisis in Indigenous communities
It is unacceptable that sustainable access to safe, clean drinking water in Indigenous communities continues to be an issue in Canada. Nobody understands the evolving challenges and needs of these communities more than the people who live there. Understanding what community members have to say about their priorities has been the catalyst for building lasting solutions focused on water quality education.
What COVID-19 has made abundantly clear is that access to clean drinking water is essential to maintaining public health and that water operators are essential workers.
Technology alone does not provide clean and reliable drinking water; the people who run the systems are critical. Boil water advisories in Indigenous communities across Canada have a clear association with the challenge of local capacity. Many Indigenous communities in Canada have identified the need for more young, qualified, and local personnel to support solving water issues, independently and for the long term. However, there is a lack of water quality education opportunities for young adults to gain the relevant skills and experiences.
The Water First Internship directly addresses this by training young Indigenous adults for a career in water science. The internship is welcomed by Indigenous communities that view training and skill development as a key part of the solution to drinking water challenges.
Intern to Operator in just 15 months
The Water First Internship is a water quality education program supporting Indigenous youth to become leaders in the world of drinking water treatment.
Current program updates
Georgian Bay Internship
Waabnoong Bemjiwang Association of First Nations (WBAFN) and Water First are proud to announce our new water training partnership. This year, the partners will be delivering a water quality education program focusing on drinking water treatment and environmental water management.
Bimose Tribal Council
We are excited to announce that the Bimose Internship has been extended to continue through to the end of September. This extension offers interns opportunities for more training, more preparation time to challenge exams, including Wastewater Management and Level 1 Operator, and more hands-on work experience in the treatment plants.