Environmental Water

Supporting Stewardship of Traditional Lands

Water First partners with Indigenous communities on projects that address current priorities. By combining traditional knowledge with environmental science, these projects encourage local land stewardship. Young adults learn skills that help their communities to best manage their water resources.

Our approach of connecting technical skills training and traditional knowledge with hands-on experience is what sets Water First apart.

Through consultations with communities and our First Nations Advisory Council, we have developed projects that fall into two general categories:

  1. Restoration projects rehabilitate waterways to reduce runoff or erosion and increase local fish populations.
  2. Baseline water quality and contaminant studies train young adults on environmental sampling methods. Communities get an analysis of their environmental water quality and information about potential exposure to contaminants through water or eating traditionally harvested foods.



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The Communities

Click on an icon to learn a bit about our work in that community.



Latest Environmental Water Stories


Our Land, Our Water

August 31st, 2020

This beautiful video was made by McKaylii Jawbone from Témiscaming, Quebec, a member of Kebaowek First Nation. McKaylii is one of the alumni from a 2-year restoration project in partnership with Kebaowek First Nation. Three large walleye spawning shoals were constructed at restoration sites identified in consultation with community elders, … Read More

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New environmental project kicks-off in northern Quebec

September 16th, 2019

This past spring, Water First and Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach, located in northern Quebec near the border of Labrador, started a collaboration on a new environmental project. 

This three-year project includes both a contaminant study to establish baseline mercury and heavy metals concentrations in the soil, water, and traditionally harvested … Read More

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We called ourselves The Food Crew

April 5th, 2019

Written by McKaylii Jawbone of Kebaowek First Nation, Water First Intern

I was a part of a two-year project to restore and enhance walleye spawning habitats in my community. Working with Ivan and Kacie made the project run so smoothly, we worked well as a team and we always had … Read More

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