Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively donate $500,000 to support Indigenous clean drinking water program | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively donate $500,000 to support Indigenous clean drinking water program

FILE PHOTo - Actors and philanthropists Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively
Image Credit: INSTAGRAM/vancityreynolds

Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds and Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively are donating thousands of dollars to Indigenous water education programs.

Their $500,000 contribution will provide resources for more young Indigenous adults to become water treatment plant operators and environmental water science technicians, as well as engage Indigenous school-aged students in water science, according to a press release from Water First, a charity that provides water education and training.

READ MORE: Vancouver star Ryan Reynolds matching $1 million in donations for Ukrainian refugees

“There’s absolutely no reason Indigenous communities should not have access to safe, clean water. All the individuals involved, whether they are operating water systems or monitoring their local water bodies, are critical. We appreciate Water First’s focus on supporting young, Indigenous adults to become certified water operators and environmental technicians,” Reynolds said in the press release.

At least 15%, or approximately one in six First Nations communities in Canada, are still under a drinking water advisory, according to the press release.

In response, Water First collaborates with community leaders to design and customize local water-focused education and training programs to align with community goals and needs, which create opportunities to attract and train young adults in the water science field.

Water First has been in discussions with Reynolds and Lively since January to share more about the organization’s approach to partnering and collaborating with Indigenous communities to help increase local water-science capacity.

"I am doing this for myself, my family and community. It’s important to know how things are done and gives you a better appreciation for it. It’s a good career to have, which I’m sure would ease my parents’ minds knowing that. It also feels good knowing that my community will have a local water treatment operator at the plant for at least a couple decades,” said Spencer Welling, Water First intern from Wasauksing First Nation, in the news release.

Anyone interested in learning about Water First and its education and training programs can find out more through its website.


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