The water crisis in Indigenous communities

It is unacceptable that sustainable access to safe, clean 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.

What COVID-19 has made abundantly clear is that access to clean 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 First Nations communities across Canada have a clear association with the challenge of local capacity. Many First Nations 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 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 program is 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 launch the Drinking Water Internship Program in member communities. This program trains young Indigenous adults to become certified water treatment plant operators.

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.

Fall donor update event

How do you measure success in an internship program?

The Interns

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