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Next generation of Indigenous water treatment plant operators graduate

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A group of Indigenous interns has successfully completed a comprehensive program, gaining valuable on-the-job experience in water treatment plants. This internship program is a crucial part of the water operator-in-training certification process, providing interns with 1,800 hours of practical training.

Throughout the program, the interns also pursued additional water operator certifications including water quality analyst and entry-level courses for drinking water operators. They also received technical training in areas such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and water sampling, providing them with the skills needed for work in water treatment and the environmental water field.

Upon graduation, the interns join the Water First Alumni Network, which offers ongoing opportunities for professional development and peer support. They also have the chance to build local networks and remain engaged in the field.

The drinking water internship program, initiated by the North Shore Tribal Council, began in June 2022. This recent graduation marks the successful completion of the fourth internship program to date. The program was funded through the North Shore Tribal Council member First Nations employment and training program, with additional support from Water First’s donors. Currently, a fifth internship program is underway with the Ogemawahj Tribal Council, and a new internship program is soon to be launched in Manitoba for the first time.

Water First has forged partnerships with 37 First Nations communities through the drinking water internship program, leading to approximately 98,000 hours of work experience in local water treatment plants. To date, a total of 46 interns have successfully graduated from the program.

To learn more about this program, visit their website here.

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