BPW Canada Access to Clean Water in Indigenous Communities

Indigenous communities in Canada have struggled with access to clean drinking water for far too long. Although some long-term drinking water advisories have been lifted, there are currently 43 advisories in effect in 31in Indigenous communities across Canada.

The panel of subject matter experts represent leaders, advocates and individuals with lived experience. They will discuss how to facilitate awareness, education and a call to action for safe drinking water in all Canadian Indigenous Communities.

Jessica Vandenberghe, P.Eng., M.Sc. is born of the Dene Thá First Nation and raised in a very inclusive German family in northern Alberta. She has had an exceptional career based on her two engineering degrees from the University of Alberta. She has worked in the oil sands, mining, regulatory, infrastructure, consulting industries and now academia. She is an Indigenous Professional Engineer, Industrial Professor, and the Assistant Dean, Engineering Community and Culture at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta. She also contributes to Truth and Reconciliation, acting as a bridge to Indigenous communities, talks to Calls to Action implementation, and works on TRC awareness through her consulting company Guiding Star Consulting. She is a mother of two and is passionate about equity, diversity and inclusion. She sits on many boards and Councils, walks in many governance worlds, and does her best to contribute to the development of well-rounded and ethically minded engineering students who will ultimately build strong and vibrant communities within Canada.

Nicole Hancock B.Ed., PGD Executive Director, Safe Drinking Water Foundation has worked for Safe Drinking Water Foundation (SDWF) since 2006 in increasing levels of responsibility. SDWF has sent water testing kits to over 3000 different schools across Canada since 2001. SDWF’s mission is to educate the leaders of today and tomorrow about drinking water quality issues to realize our goal of safe drinking water being available to every Canadian. When Nicole is not working for Safe Drinking Water Foundation, she can be found working for two other water organizations, teaching math and French, or writing educational courses for online learners. She has also worked for The Saskatchewan First Nations Water Association Inc. (SFNWA) since early 2019. The mission of SFNWA is to build capacity at the community level for the care and control of water on reserve.

Tasha Beeds is an Indigenous scholar of nêhiyaw (Plains Cree), Scottish-Metis, and Caribbean ancestry from the Treaty 6 territories of Saskatchewan. She activates as a kôhkom (Grandmother), Water Walker, and a Mide-Kwe from Minweyweywigaan Midewiwin Lodge situated in Roseau River First Nations and Wiikwemkoong Unceded Reserve. She belongs to the Makwa (Bear) Clan and is a traditional daughter to Daabaasanaqwat (Peter Atkinson). Tasha’s collective work highlights and celebrates Indigeneity while promoting Indigenous nationhood, sovereignty, and care and protection of the land and waters based on carrying Indigenous Ancestral legacies forward for future generations.

She was selected as a Na’ah Illahee Sovereign Futures Indigenous Environmental Leader and supported by the NdN Collective for her movement as a Water Walker. Tasha is currently a limited term lecturer at the University of Saskatchewan Indigenous Studies Department; the Ron Ianni guest scholar at the University of Windsor’s Indigenous Legal Orders Institute; the inaugural Indigenous scholar at Carleton University’s Anako Indigenous Research Institute; and an adjunct faculty member at Kenjgewin Teg/Queen’s University.


Mar 15 2022


Eastern Time (EDT)
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

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Le Réseau Avenir égalitaire reconnaît que les peuples autochtones sont les gardiens traditionnels de l’Île de la Tortue, qu’on appelle également le Canada.

Veuillez consulter notre reconnaissance du territoire ici