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Water Today Title May 27, 2023

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Update 2020/12/24
First Nation Water

brought to you in part by

KNRC Solutions



By Suzanne Forcese

Created in March 2018, by Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), Canada’s First Nations Leadership Award, the Award recognizes First Nations individuals or organizations that have demonstrated leadership and outstanding dedication to the advancement of clean and safe drinking water in First Nations communities.

Following the extraordinary examples of previous award recipients, Chief Lorraine Crane
, Slate Falls First Nation and "Deon Hassler, Carry the Kettle First Nation, Eric Sioui, a chemical engineering technician, water treatment systems technician and coordinator of the Wendake Mobile Training Program was chosen for the 2020 Award.

Sioui, a Huron-Wendat from Wendake, Québec, was recognized for his leadership and for sharing his expertise with other First Nations water operators across Québec through the Circuit Rider Training Program.

As an itinerant trainer, Sioui helps other First Nations operators obtain and maintain the accreditation, in addition to providing advice to chief and councillors.

Among his contribution, he created a web page to help operators of water supply and wastewater treatment systems. This effective support to operators has helped the First Nations of Québec prevent drinking water advisories and to process them quickly when they are issued. As a result, there are no long-term advisories in the province.

Eric Sioui holding the 2020 National First Nations Water Leadership Award Trophy

Eric Sioui was congratulated by The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services. “Water operators are essential to ensuring First Nations communities have access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water. The hard work and dedication of people like Eric is vital in helping us to achieve the goal of safe and clean drinking water in First Nations communities.”

Sioui, who also created a centralized equipment loan program for materials, including an inspection camera, a leak detector, and other water system-related equipment, said the acknowledgement is shared with his team of Circuit Rider trainers, and all First Nations water treatment operators in Québec.

“From the start, we have worked hard and made tremendous progress on many aspects of our work. As a result, a beautiful relationship of trust has developed over the years. Together, we have shared our knowledge and cultures, passionately and respectfully. Our concerted efforts now ensure the health and safety of the majority of the population and improve the quality of life in communities, while also protecting the environment.”

To nominate a First Nations individual, or community organization for the 2021 Leadership Award who “by their everyday actions, are able to guide, influence and inspire” or who have demonstrated leadership and made outstanding contributions to the advancement of clean and safe drinking water in First nations communities by, for example:
  • Creating, promoting or advancing Indigenous community-based outreach or programs in support of clean and safe drinking water
  • Making concerted efforts and providing leadership during community drinking water emergencies or water infrastructure challenges (such as ending long-term drinking water advisories)
  • Developing and advancing innovative practices in relation to drinking water
  • Showing dedication, work, and achievements which support clean and safe drinking water, including water system operations, relationship-building, planning and prevention
  • Showing extraordinary involvement in First Nations water-related issues Send completed nominations to ISC:

  • e-mail to aadnc.proprepnh2o.aandc@canada.ca



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