It’s easy to take clean drinking water for granted. We live in Canada, after all.
The reality is 20% of First Nations communities in Canada are under a boil water advisory. In Ontario, it’s 40%, twice the national average. And while there are many factors that we can’t control, we have a solution that is starting to make a difference.
Founded in 2009, Water First is a registered non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping First Nations communities solve local water challenges through education, training and meaningful collaboration.
We have partnered with over 40 Indigenous communities in Ontario, Quebec & Labrador on a variety of education and training projects focusing on drinking water and environmental water. By hiring and training locally, Water First’s programs ensure that skills, knowledge and credentials stay in communities long after a project is completed.
We also run workshops for youth with hands-on learning activities in schools, labs and on traditional lands.
By working collaboratively with First Nations communities, sharing our water science expertise and relying on donors like you, we will continue to make a difference.
Through education and training, the Water First program addresses a fundamental capacity issue related to water challenges in First Nations communities. With its focus on youth and young adults, Water First brings great opportunities to First Nationsstudents while offering sustainability to future generations.
— Irving Leblanc, P. ENG., Special Advisor to the Assembly of First Nations
What People Are Saying
"Water First…and always! We believe healthy water creates healthy communities and engaging youth to be agents of change and future community water leaders, is worth every drop!"
— Reggie Tikka, LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
"This Internship has taught me more about the situation of clean water in our province. I didn’t know how many First Nations communities were without clean water. I really want to change that in the next few years."
— Eric Vautour, Sheguindah First Nation, Water First Internship Graduate
"Building water science capacity among First Nations youth is a crucial task that requires immediate action. I applaud Water First’s efforts to address this issue through its program, which offers important water education initiatives to First Nations communities."
— Bob Rae, Former MP & Former Ontario Premier