The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, opened nominations for the 2020 National First Nations Water Leadership Award; an annual recognition of First Nations individuals or organizations demonstrating leadership and outstanding dedication to the advancement of clean and safe drinking water in First Nations communities.

Indigenous Services Canada established the National First Nations Water Leadership Award in 2018 as an annual 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,” The Honourable Marc Miller, P.C., M.P. Minister of Indigenous Services said. “We are proud to acknowledge the resilient and hardworking First Nations water professionals and organizations across Canada with this award. 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, organizations that support Indigenous communities, and representatives of Indigenous Services Canada review nominations and provide recommendations to the Minister of Indigenous Services.

This year’s recipient will receive a trophy and a piece of Indigenous artwork at a later event. Deon Hassler, former water operator from Carry the Kettle Nakoda Nation, received the 2019 National First Nations Water Leadership Award. The recipient of the inaugural National First Nations Water Leadership Award was Lorraine Crane, Chief of Slate Falls Nation, in recognition of her outstanding leadership and dedication to the advancement of clean drinking water in her community.

The Government of Canada’s commitment to eliminating all long-term drinking water advisories on reserve 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. The Government of Canada is proud to recognize those community members making a difference.

Nominations are being accepted until January 17, 2020. The winner will be announced later in the year. For more information on how to nominate a candidate, please visit the National First Nations Water Leadership Award web page.

The recipient will also be honoured through the creation of three bursaries in their name to support water operators in their professional development.

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