The Youth Clean Water Project involved the hiring of three youths from the Moose Cree First Nation (MCFN) in Ontario for a period of eight weeks in summer of 2015. Their job was to learn how to test for and understand various water quality parameters such as alkalinity, pH, hardness, phosphorus and chlorine. They also learned about water treatment processes such as reverse osmosis and chlorination. In addition, participants also learned the importance of teamwork and communication with other co-workers while learning about the importance of water and water treatment while gaining insights into the individual components of a water treatment system and how emergency situations are handled. Further, they also gained valuable field research skills such as testing and logging of data.
Prior to participating in the project, the youths indicated they were not familiar with treatment processes; nor did they have an understanding of the number of Drinking Water Advisories (DWAs) currently in Ontario. After the eight-week program, participants reported that they also learned about the importance of such research in their community, and how they can get other members in the community interested in water education through various activities and songs. Finally, youth learned how western-based knowledge systems come together with traditional knowledge and the importance of traditional knowledge in their First Nations community.
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