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 announce our new water training partnership. This year, the partners will begin delivering a drinking water treatment and environmental water management training program.

Bimose Tribal Council

Last October in Kenora, Ontario, the interns in the Bimose Tribal Council internship program took part in a week-long introduction to water science in the environmental field.

After a long week of studying for the Operator in Training Exam, the interns were able to get out on the land, experiment with some hands-on activities, and experience some of the things they may do after completing the internship.

Most recent donor update

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.