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Water First

Sustainable access to safe, clean water in Indigenous communities continues to be a critical issue in Canada.

The challenges are complex and layered – communities may face issues relating to infrastructure, source water quality or having enough people to manage water systems – or more than one of these issues at a time. Water First partners with Indigenous communities that have identified education and training as part of the solution to the water crisis. Because safe water needs skilled people.

Water First programs support participants in developing technical skills to go on to employment or further education in water science fields. They build confidence in themselves and a passion for making positive change in their communities. 

Our programs also support Indigenous communities in strengthening capacity to manage and protect water resources for generations to come.

Interns currently training with Water First shared their thoughts on what this means to them and their communities:

"I've always felt drawn to water my entire life, and this seemed like a great opportunity to become part of a solution on our reserve.

I have grown up in this community and have had boil water advisories in the past. I know that clean water may be our right, but not all of us — especially on reserves — are lucky enough to be able to have it."

Melodie Squires, Serpent River First Nation
Water First Alumni

"I decided to join Water First for myself and my community.

I did it for myself to find a successful career, but I also saw and recognized the importance of water and keeping the surrounding bodies of water healthy for all living things."

Nigel Debassige, Atikameksheng Anishnawbek
Water First Alumni

"I joined because I was seeking an opportunity to become involved in my community, and also to learn new skills.

Personally, I find that being able to contribute to the community I belong to brings me closer to my family and friends."

Kyle Porter, Garden River First Nation
Water First Alumni

"I'm interested in both environmental water and drinking water, so when I saw the posting shared on my communities' social media page, I was immediately inspired to apply.

In the future, I want to be of service and volunteer with an organization that provides safe drinking water after a natural disaster."

Savannah Jones, Sagamok Anishnawbek
Water First Alumni

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