An effective solution to a long-standing problem
Access to clean, safe drinking water. It is easy to take this for granted - yet, this is not the reality for everyone in Canada.
In many First Nations communities, the issue of boil water advisories has a clear association with the shortage of certified people to work in local water treatment plants. Indigenous communities do not receive comparable education, training and employment supports when it comes to water science and management compared to the rest of the country. These supports are critical in ensuring the long-term sustainability of Indigenous water systems.
The Water First Internship was born from community feedback, guidance and partners coming together with a focus on training and education to create local solutions. The Internship trains primarily young, local Indigenous adults to become certified water treatment plant operators and to work within the environmental water field. Over the course of a 15-month paid internship opportunity, participants receive customized skills training and tutoring to obtain certification, along with on-the-job experience in their local water plants.
But it’s been a year and a half since that first group of graduates completed the program. We've spent that time building relationships and trust with new communities that want to partner with us. We’ve revisited our curriculum and learning/teaching approach. We’ve raised money from foundations, from individuals and from corporations. We have commitments from our community partners. But it’s not quite enough.
We need your help to deliver safe and clean drinking water to more people in more communities. We want to start a new Internship program in 2020 with 12 new interns. It’s frustrating to know the only thing preventing us from getting started is money. We learned so much with our community partners during the first internship training. The interns from Manitoulin Island have offered to act as mentors and coaches. We are as anxious to get started as our partner communities are.
Please donate today so we can start as soon as possible to help ensure safe and clean drinking water is available to more people in more communities.