In 2013, sixteen youth were selected from four First Nations in Canada to participate in a two year project, Our Water-Our Future: Youth Water Leaders. The youth travelled to each of the four main watershed areas, Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic and Hudson Bay to learn from well-known water leaders, Elders, and community members about the state of the watershed, water ceremony, and the quality of water, respectively. Throughout each of the workshops, the youth learned how to work together through the stages of project development; they developed their vision, goals, work plan, budget and completed proposals to access funding to implement their water action plans in their communities!
The youth have successfully completed the program. The outcomes of all their hard work are available on the Indigenous Food First website (http://www.iffculture.ca) for other youth and teachers to learn from. In total, the youth have developed four (4) community water action plans (http://iffculture.ca/action/) available as pdf downloads , 55+ digital stories (http://iffculture.ca/digital-stories/), two how-to guides, titled “How to be a water leader” and “How to host your own water workshop” (http://iffculture.ca/take-action/how-to-guides/) and tracked their progress throughout the project on timeline software (http://iffculture.ca/timelines/). For more information, check out the workshop pages for each community (http://iffculture.ca/workshops/) and to watch summary videos of each workshop and see the youth in action! The Water I <3 U project has come to an end but the impacts it can have on our youth water leaders lives and their roles as water leaders has only just begun!