Thursday, November 26, 2020
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World Water Day: Blue Communities Update

Paul Baines, Blue Communities Coordinator, would like to share this update for March 22: As part of helping the CSJ Blue Communities get ready for World Water Day, I called Dillon Koopmans from Water First about their water quality testing and training programs.

Water First is a non-governmental organization offering water education for adults and workshops for Grade 7 and 8 students. Dillon is the Educational Programs Manager with a small team of other educators.
Water First’s GUSH program visits classrooms across Ontario to add real-world water literacy to the Grade 7 & 8 Science & Technology and Geography curriculum. 
The Grade 7 GUSH workshop is called Pollution Solutions and helps students understand the social, environmental, and economic dimensions to water pollution. Students learn the fundamentals of water quality and science and how this impacts society – especially First Nations who often don’t have clean water sources and services. 
The Grade 8 workshop is called Working Watersheds and features interactive watershed models that guide inquiry about economic opportunities in Northern Ontario and First Nations communities and the challenges of supporting healthy watersheds. This is a lesson in priorities that is grounded in real experiences and impacts. 
CSJ in Canada is a sponsor of the Water First Internship project that trains adults from First Nations communities for jobs in water treatment. Ending the Drinking Water Advisories will take both financial investments and this type of local expertise.  
To mark World Water Day and the connections between CSJ, First Nations water quality, and education and leadership by young people, see and share this short video featuring Autumn Peltier from Wikwemikong First Nation on Manitoulin Island. On World Water Day 2018, Autumn addressed the United Nations General Assembly about the critical water issues affecting Canada and her community. 
Visit our Blue Communities website for more resources and actions we can take. 


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