Canada Water Week

Canada Water Week 2017 in the NWT

Every year, water education plays a central role in Ecology North’s Canada Water Week celebrations. This year, during the month of March, we visited schools in the communities of Inuvik, Norman Wells, Hay River, Aklavik, and Tsiigehtchic, to deliver interactive water education sessions for K to Grade 12. We conducted tests for pH and chlorine, using our Mobile Water Quality Lab. This activity was very hands-on, visual and thus highly effective at engaging students in learning about different aspects of water quality. The importance of water and aquatics systems was also communicated through different games and strategies taken from the Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide. In total, approximately 230 students were reached by Ecology North’s school outreach activities. We received positive feedback from several teachers following our classroom visits. Here are some examples:

“Great activities…they engaged the students to learn more about water and how to protect water.” – Anonymous Exit Survey. Mackenzie Mountain School.

“The students were very engaged and wanted to volunteer. Great job!” – Anonymous Exit Survey. East Three Elementary School.

“Good student involvement – they loved it!” Anonymous Exit Survey. East Three Elementary School.

Ecology North also hosted and coordinated events in 9 different communities across the NWT. The events included film nights, our annual fish fry at the Snow Castle and a speaker panel. The panel discussion “Past, Present and Future of the Mackenzie River: A Discussion on Climate Change Impacts and Transboundary Waters” was hosted in collaboration with The Council of Canadians-NWT Chapter and the GNWT and it featured Bob Sandford as the keynote speaker for the evening. Panel members were Stephanie Yuill, Jennifer Fresque-Baxter, and Meaghan Beveridge with GNWT Environment and Natural Resources, and Catherine Lafferty with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.

“While I realize you have some real problems that cannot be ignored, I can honestly say that I come up here as frequently as I can so I can be reminded of the principles that must guide the rest of the world and the actions to which we must commit if we are to achieve any meaningful level of water security and water-related climate stability globally. I use your example to demonstrate that the path forward to sustainability must be a path of principle based not just on sound public policy but on an ethical imperative. Managing natural resources is not just about economics; it is also about our shared humanity and our shared future.” Bob Sandford, May 23rd 2017, Yellowknife, NT.

Canada Water Week is a celebration of water from coast-to-coast-to-coast, held annually in the third week of March to coincide with World Water Day on March 22. Every March for the past six years, Ecology North has organized a series of water-related events in recognition of Canada Water Week. Our events range from school visits and film screenings to community water tours, eco-theatre productions, a fish fry, water curriculum development and more!

Thanks to the Government of the Northwest Territories for their continued support.

Take a look below at some of the things we’ve done in past years:

Canada Water Week 2016 in the NWT

Water Week 2016 was another big success. During the month of March Ecology North staff visited 16 classrooms in 6 different communities to deliver various water programs and activities. Our toolkit of education activities included a hands-on mobile water quality testing kit, a 3-D model of the Yellowknife River Watershed, a large NWT Watershed Map, and many other activities. In total, we reached approximately 210 students with our school outreach activities.

In addition to education activities, Ecology North also coordinated and hosted various public community events to celebrate Canada Water Week. The overarching intent behind all of the events was to encourage northerners to learn more about and truly appreciate our local watersheds in the NWT. In total, Ecology North hosted and coordinated 9 events in 7 different communities. Our existing and new partnerships with various groups and organizations throughout the NWT made it possible to do this. The events included different film nights, water treatment plant tours, a fish fry and speaker events. In total, we reached more than 400 people with our community outreach activities.

Leading up to the month of March, Ecology North’s water week activities also involved carrying out a preliminary research study to gather information and statistics pertaining to bottled water consumption in the NWT. This research, which is summarized in a Background Research Report on Bottled Water Consumption in the NWT, led to the launch of our #loveNWTwater campaign. Take a look at our #loveNWTwater campaign page to get involved and see where we are at!