CIER, One Drop Foundation and Private Sector Partners to Launch the Indigenous Water Allyship
Winnipeg (Manitoba) and Montréal (Québec) –April 20th, 2023
Today, the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER), Canada’s first Indigenous-directed environmental non-profit organization and the One Drop Foundation announced the launch of the Indigenous Water Allyship, a first of its kind collaborative- led initiative to improve living conditions and health through water and art in Indigenous communities across Canada.
The initiative is co-designed and implemented with the active involvement of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit youth and their communities, and is supported by private partners Keurig Dr Pepper Canada, Ovivo, and Power Corporation of Canada, who are making valuable contributions to the efforts towards safe water access in Canada.
Despite living in one of the world’s most water-rich countries, Indigenous communities in Canada continue to be disproportionately affected by issues related to safe water access. Recurring drinking water advisories increase their exposure to contaminants which can result in waterborne illness and long-term health impacts. Restoring access to safe water, one of the most essential sources of life, allows for reciprocal restoration, a mutual healing of water and people and is central to advancing reconciliation and self-determination.
The first phase of the Indigenous Water Allyship, led by the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER), is meant to empower Indigenous youth to express their voice and vision around water-related challenges through art and community-based approaches. Its second phase will amplify this impact by working with Indigenous communities to develop a long-term program to improve living conditions and health in First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities in Canada through increased knowledge and equitable access to safe water. This will be achieved through the implementation of concrete solutions and interventions identified through the collaborative work deployed in the first phase.
“This initiative aligns with our goal of building capacity for Indigenous communities across Canada,” says Shianne McKay, Senior Project Manager at the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources. “It amplifies youth voices that create community awareness and opportunities to improve access to safe drinking water.”.
Social art inspires community participation and facilitates the expression of thoughts and feelings on important issues through creative processes, tapping into the transformative power of creativity to promote positive social impact.
Through the power of water and social art, the program will focus on promoting the capacity and leadership of Indigenous youth to influence water and climate issues, enhancing Indigenous and intergenerational cultural wisdoms on water-related issues and increasing mobilization from all sectors in Canada.
“While water powers life, social art empowers Indigenous Peoples to express themselves and co-create solutions together. The One Drop Foundation is honoured to bring water and art together through a new, meaningful collaboration with Indigenous communities and private partners who share a commitment to improving access to safe water in Canada. I would like to express my gratitude to our program partner, CIER, for their crucial leadership and dedication in advancing this effort, and I look forward to collaborating with them, as well as Keurig, Ovivo, and Power Corporation, in pursuit of our common goals.”, expressed Jean-Louis Dufresne, Chief Executive Officer of the One Drop Foundation.
The Indigenous Water Allyship seeks to connect with communities’ relationships with water and to celebrate distinct water-related knowledge across Canada. Recognizing the importance of water as the interconnection among all life, the One Drop Foundation and CIER are dedicated to fostering partnerships, establishing relationships with Indigenous rights and title holders, and collaboratively designing programs that deepen understanding of water-related issues while supporting equitable access to water.
“It is with great pride that we support the Indigenous Water Allyship in this collaborative initiative aimed at improving safe water access across Canada for all Indigenous communities. At Ovivo, we are passionate about water and we understand the importance of clean water to sustainably improve living conditions and health in the population. We are honoured to partner with the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER) and the One Drop Foundation, two organizations that value water as much as we do and make a lasting difference on water and climate issues,” said Marc Barbeau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ovivo.
“We are immensely proud of being one of the initial partners of this unique program founded on One Drop’s holistic approach, which is Keurig Dr Pepper’s first community project focused on access to safe water. This is among the most pressing human issues of our times, one that touches many First Nations communities in Canada. We feel privileged to have this opportunity to bring our humble contribution to such an important endeavour.” – Olivier Lemire – President, Keurig Dr Pepper Canada
“Power Corporation is very pleased to support the Indigenous Water Allyship”, said Paul C. Genest, Senior Vice- President at Power Corporation. “Safe water access is a fundamental right and this initiative will help communities affected by water related issues develop sustainable solutions. It will also help build leadership amongst Indigenous Youth for addressing climate issues. We commend this innovative partnership led by the CIER and One Drop.”
To discuss learning and partnership opportunities, please contact Lauren Alcorn, Director of Strategic Partnerships at the One Drop Foundation.
About the Center for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER)
The Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER) is Canada’s first Indigenous-directed environmental non-profit charitable organization, founded in 1995 by 10 First Nation Chiefs from across Canada. CIER works in partnership with Indigenous nations to support and build sustainable Indigenous communities and protect lands and waters to help create a world that is in balance and supports the well-being of all living things. To date, CIER has worked on 450 projects with over 300 Indigenous nations across Canada, supporting Indigenous people and communities to become leaders of positive environmental change by combining traditional, local, and Western scientific methods.
For more information about CIER: http://www.yourcier.org
About the One Drop Foundation
The One DropTM Foundation is an international philanthropic organization created by Cirque du Soleil and Lune Rouge founder Guy Laliberté with the vision of a better world, where all have access to living conditions that allow empowerment and development. Its mission is to ensure sustainable access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene for communities facing extreme barriers through innovative partnerships, creativity, and the power of art, while contributing to climate action The One Drop Foundation is celebrating 15 years of turning water into action, with projects that will soon have improved the living conditions of more than 2.7 million people around the world.
About Keurig Dr Pepper Canada
Keurig Dr Pepper Canada is the trade name under which Keurig Canada Inc. and Canada Dry Mott’s Inc. operate. From coast to coast, Keurig Dr Pepper Canada offers a broad range of delightful hot and cold beverages for every need, marketed under more than 60 flagship brands, including Canada Dry®, Dr Pepper®, Mott’s Clamato®, Van Houtte® and Timothy’s®, available everywhere people shop and consume. Also available from Keurig Dr Pepper Canada are Keurig®’s single-serve coffee makers.
The company’s main Canadian offices and executive team are located in Montréal, Quebec, and Mississauga, Ontario. Also located in Montréal, Quebec are the hot beverage manufacturing facilities and Keurig Canada Inc. subsidiary Van Houtte Coffee Services Inc., which offers innovative beverage solutions to away from home customers from branch offices in 30 Canadian cities. The company is committed to sourcing, producing and distributing beverages responsibly through our “Drink Well. Do Good.” corporate responsibility platform, including efforts around circular packaging, efficient natural resource use and sustainability efforts within the supply chain.
To learn more about our company, go to keurigdrpepper.ca. To learn more about our commitment to corporate social responsibility, go to https://www.keurigdrpepper.ca/en-ca/our-company/corporate- responsibility .
About Ovivo Inc.
Ovivo is a global provider of equipment, technology and systems producing among the purest water and treating some of the most challenging wastewater in the industry. Ovivo is a powerful global brand with renowned trademarks, possessing more than 150 years of expertise and references in water treatment, supported by its proprietary products, advanced technologies and extensive system integration knowhow. Ovivo delivers conventional to highly technological water treatment solutions for the industrial and municipal markets, and leverages its large installed base of equipment around the world to offer parts and services to its customers. Ovivo is dedicated to innovation in an industry that is in constant evolution and offers water treatment solutions that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable.
Ovivo operates an integrated global platform in 18 countries and employs more than 1,300 worldwide experts in water treatment. Ovivo is owned by German SKion Water GmbH, a global technology and solution provider as well as plant manufacturer, in both municipal and industrial water and wastewater technology. SKion Water is a subsidiary of German entrepreneur Susanne Klatten’s investment holding SKion GmbH.
For more information about Ovivo, visit the website www.ovivowater.com.
About the Power Corporation of Canada
Power Corporation is an international management and holding company that focuses on financial services in North America, Europe and Asia. Its core holdings are leading insurance, retirement, wealth management and investment businesses, including a portfolio of alternative asset investment platforms. To learn more, visit PowerCorporation.com.
To learn more about the One Drop Foundation, visit www.onedrop.org.
Marie-France Dos Santos
Director, Corporate Communications and Brand Reputation
One Drop Foundation
Senior Vice President, Business Support and ESG