Mamaweswen, North Shore Tribal Council and Water First


SERPENT RIVER FIRST NATION, ONTARIO, March 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — On World Water Day this year, Mamaweswen of the North Shore Tribal Council (NSTC) joined seven Aboriginal members of Northern Ontario and Canadian charity Water First Education & Training Inc. announced their partnership to deliver NSTC Water First Internship, a drinking water treatment and environmental water science training program for young Aboriginal adults. Approximately 14 interns will be recruited from 7 participating Aboriginal communities in the Tribal Council area to pursue Operator Training (OIT), Entry Level Course (ELC) and Water Quality Analyst (WQA) certifications to help trainees begin their career. water field.

The collaboration will address a need identified by the local community to recruit and train more young people into the water science field. A comprehensive internship and certification program helps improve local technical competencies in water management, not only for today, but for future generations as well.

Angus Toulouse, CEO of Mamaweswen, said: “We began discussions with Water First on this potential project in autumn 2021. Today, we are delighted to announce a partnership to help recruit and train young Aboriginal adults in the field of drinking water treatment. We Existing operators in member communities are doing an excellent job with the resources they have available, and there is recognition that more young local operators are needed to help continue to provide safe drinking water to our residents. As they focus on running local tap water plant, our operators are too busy to design and deliver a comprehensive recruitment, training and mentoring program like that offered by Water First. Through this important partnership, we look forward to supporting the next generation of local water operators who will Help protect the health and well-being of communities and families.”

NSTC Water First Internships are funded in part from North Shore Tribal Council and First Nations Membership Program resources, as well as support from Water First donors. During the internship program, starting in summer 2022, each intern can accumulate approximately 1,800 hours of on-the-job experience at the water treatment plant as part of the certification process. Through the 15-month program, interns gain provincial certification to work in the field of drinking water treatment and environmental water.

“The Internship Program is designed to support young Aboriginal adults to achieve provincial water treatment certification and the experience needed to become water treatment plant operators. By combining local training and practical experience with water plants, interns learn and apply the skills needed to provide Communities play an important role in addressing local water challenges now and in the future. We look forward to working with Mamaweswen on this critical initiative,” said John Millar, Executive Director of Water First.

To date, Water First has successfully implemented three internship partnerships, including: one with eight Aboriginal people in the Georgian Bay Area with interns graduating in fall 2022, two completed with the Bimose Tribal Council and 11 Affiliated Aboriginal Internships and piloted on Manitoulin Island in partnership with seven Aboriginal peoples through the Mnidoo Mnising, Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory and Anishinabek Nation’s Joint Chiefs and Council.

Nathan Pamajewon, a Water First intern from Shawanaga First Nation, shared: “I believe this is my own profession. I have enjoyed all the experiences so far; I have the opportunity to achieve something bigger in life. I hope to see To grow and be the best in our community; to provide the best and safe drinking water for my community or others that are not mine.”

Many Aboriginal people facing drinking water challenges have identified the need for more young, qualified local personnel to support independent and long-term water solutions. Indigenous communities do not receive adequate local education, training and employment support in attracting and retaining young people in water science. These supports are critical to ensuring the long-term sustainability of Indigenous drinking water systems.

about Mamaweswen, North Shore Tribal Council
The mission of the NSTC is to assist and facilitate the activities of the North Shore Tribal Council member communities. Tribal Councils perform three primary functions in a manner that promotes the cultural, spiritual, political, economic, environmental, and social well-being of member Aboriginal peoples:

  • Research, develop and deliver area-based products and services to the member community under the direction of the NSTC member community
  • Provide advisory services to member communities
  • Provide collective political support for the well-being of Indigenous peoples

About Water First Education & Training Inc. (Water First)
Water First is a Canada-registered charity that addresses the water challenges of Aboriginal communities through education, training and meaningful collaboration. Water First has worked with more than 55 Aboriginal communities in Canada.

For more information, please contact:

Ami Gopal
Director of Development and Communications
water first
[email protected]


Ken McLeod
infrastructure specialist
Mamaweswen, North Shore Tribal Council
[email protected]

The two photos accompanying this announcement are available at:

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