Innovative services, products and processes, combined with improvements to the way health, social and other services are delivered toCanadians, will shape the country’s economic performance and individual and social well-being. However, many Canadians and a vast majority of Indigenous communities have not had opportunities to meaningfully participate in the innovation economy that Canada has generated.
RESEAU-CMI hosted a special panel session at the 2019National Water and Wastewater Conference in Banff, Alberta, in November to discuss how all levels of government can work with Indigenous organizations on finding ways to stretch their collective activities to fill gaps in FirstNations communities’ experience. Participants noted several key considerations that must be incorporated into any attempt to engender meaningful change in the lives of communities:
Education and awareness-building exercises within communities about water health and the innovation process are integral to success.
Politics and the requirements of federal, provincial and local jurisdictions can be barriers to implementation, as can siloed approaches to innovation.
Communities must be empowered as the drivers of any efforts to upgrade water systems, but they require resources to manage change, plan long-term and manage assets, as well as appropriate funding.
Pictured left to right: Kerry Black, Kathleen Padulo, MonicaBradley, Rosey Radmanovich, Mario Swampy, Dennis Sterritt and Irving Leblanc.