Marc Miller, minister of Indigenous services, has opened nominations for the 2020 National First Nations Water Leadership Award.

“Our commitment to eliminating all long-term drinking water advisories on reserves by 2021 is only possible through work with First Nations as they lead efforts to ensure their communities enjoy the same access to clean drinking water that everyone in Canada deserves,” said Marc Miller, minister of Indigenous services.

“We are proud to acknowledge the resilient and hardworking First Nations water professionals and organizations across Canada with this award,” Miller added. “They are a vital part of the overall efforts to ensure all First Nations in Canada have access to clean drinking water. I look forward to presenting our next winner with the award this spring.”

Potential nominees include First Nations individuals—community members or leaders—or First Nations organizations or communities.

An advisory committee consisting of First Nations partners and organizations that support Indigenous communities, as well as representatives of Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), will review the nominations and provide recommendations to the Minister of Indigenous Services.

This recipient will receive a trophy and a piece of Indigenous artwork at an event. The recipient will also be honoured through the creation of three bursaries in their name to support water operators in their professional development.

Nominations will be accepted until January 17, 2020. The winner will be announced later in the year. More information on how to nominate a candidate is available on the National First Nations Water Leadership Award web page.

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) established the award in 2018. The annual award recognizes First Nations individuals or organizations that demonstrate leadership and outstanding dedication to the advancement of clean and safe drinking water in First Nations communities.

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The recipient of the inaugural National First Nations Water Leadership Award was Chief Lorraine Crane of Slate Falls Nation. Deon Hassler, former water operator from Carry the Kettle Nakoda Nation, received the 2019 National First Nations Water Leadership Award.

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