The Water First Internship Program

Intern to Operator in Just 15 Months

A shortage of certified water treatment plant operators leaves many First Nations communities in the same position: limited access to safe, clean drinking water.

A combination of water science training and hands-on experience for Indigenous youth is the key. Together with our community partners, we are supporting young interns to become certified water treatment plant operators to help ensure sustainable, safe drinking water in First Nations communities for the long term.

In 15 months, the internship program provides over 2,000 hours of training in the classroom, at local water treatment facilities, and out on the land. The program is a paid internship that provides hands-on training and skills. Graduates of the program then use their knowledge, skills and credentials to support their communities, providing safe and clean drinking water for future generations.

"Before this job, I didn't care where the water came from. I turned on the tap and that's it. I came in for a job and came out with a career. Because of this, my son and I are set."

Amy Waboose, Whitefish River First Nation
Amy Waboose

This program was born from in-depth community guidance and collaboration, which continues throughout implementation. This is more than just a water science training program. It is a true partnership built on a foundation of trust between Water First and our partner communities.

Pairing western science with traditional knowledge creates unique opportunities. And we are focused on achieving lasting results so that First Nations communities can address local water challenges independently, and for the long term.

How it Got Started

The Interns

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