Sparking a passion for environmental water stewardship
Considering the water crisis faced by many Indigenous communities, there is a profound underrepresentation of Indigenous voices in Canada’s water governance. Couple this with a lack of employment and education opportunities for Indigenous youth and it becomes clear that it is critical we continue to offer Indigenous students the most impassioned, empowering, and exciting water science education learning opportunities possible.
Certified educators at Water First have developed comprehensive programs that create opportunities for students to strengthen their relationship with the environment, and foster a love of education and water science.
Our programs, designed for K-12 students, include multiple hands-on STEM workshops that explore custom curricular and local water science concepts. Students spend time on the land and in the classroom exploring these topics using water science tools and Water First learning resources. Working in collaboration with community members, students gain a greater understanding of their local geography and watershed. They also learn about the role they can play, as students and as young professionals, in protecting their water resources.
Water First is honoured to have engaged with schools in over 30 communities in Ontario, Quebec, Labrador, and Manitoba, so far. Witnessing students’ excitement and interest in the field of water science is inspiring.
55 programs have been delivered to date, engaging 4,656 students.
9 high school credits have been earned through a pilot program in 2021.
Approximately 700 more students to be engaged by the end of summer 2022 in 9 more communities.
About our Indigenous Schools Water Program
Summer Reach Ahead Program
Students have the opportunity to participate in a community conservation or restoration project in tandem with curriculum based on the land lessons facilitated by Water First staff and different community guest speakers throughout the summer. Students will love this program because they can be involved with their community while also earning a high school credit.
What's In Your Water
Using interactive watershed models, water ionizers, and heaps of water science field equipment, student scientists learn how to investigate the overall health of their community’s watershed by completing a local water source monitoring program.
Student scientists are provided engineering-focused challenges and a community-based project to help them understand the infrastructure of their community and test the quality of their water using all sorts of fun water science field equipment.
Water science learning packs for teachers and parents.
Recent program news
Sunny Days in Nunavik
Written by: Adrianna Bilinski, Indigenous School Engagement Manager at Water First. The third week of January, in the middle of winter. That was when Dillon
Paddling Through the Weeds
by Adrianna Bilinski, Indigenous School Engagement Coordinator Over the last few years, the Schools Program team at Water First has been building strong, lasting relationships
Summer Credit Program: Earning High School Credits Through Experiential Learning
In late August 2022, Water First’s Schools Program team wrapped up its second year of delivering the Summer Credit Program. Students from schools in Indigenous