Skip to content

North Bay college launches Clean Water Initiative

Canadore’s plans include construction of water treatment facility for teaching
A rendering shows what the new Water Teaching Lodge will look like at Canadore College.

Canadore College is taking a new approach to helping address the clean water crisis in Indigenous communities in Canada with the launch of its Clean Water Initiative and the opening of its new Water Teaching Lodge.

Launched on April 12, the initiative is designed to be a “comprehensive platform of technologies, services and educational programs tailored to First Nations needs and values that address the challenges of delivering reliable and sustainable clean drinking water to their communities."

It includes the construction of an operational water treatment facility to be used for teaching purposes.

Canadore College already offers a series of water operator training programs, which certify participants in the monitoring of water systems, testing for water quality, and troubleshooting problems within those systems.

“The Water Teaching Lodge is an essential part of the Clean Water Initiative,” said Carly Renaud, Canadore’s manager of Indigenous research and development, in an April 12 news release.

“It will create space at Canadore College to support in-person and hybrid learning that explores Indigenous teachings, technologies, and land-based research practices relating to water protection.

“Indigenous knowledge holders, language speakers, elders, and Indigenous research faculty who can offer foundational cultural and historical knowledge will guide this work.”

The Water Teaching Lodge has been given the Anishinaabemowin name of Mshibizhiwgamig, which means Great Lynx Lodge.

“Mshibizhiw, the Great Lynx, is a water protection spirit who lives in lakes and underground rivers,” Candore explained in the release. “The spirit resembles a great feline with horns but is always described as being a reptile. To the Anishinaabe people, Mshibizhiw is greatly respected because it provides medicine and protection.”

The Clean Water Initiative will be guided by an advisory council comprised of Indigenous community members, Indigenous water operators, and Canadore employees. Its goal is to ensure the project “stays rooted in the needs of the communities and adheres to First Nations’ practices involving water,” Canadore said.

The Lodge is located at Canadore’s College Drive Campus and is linked to The Village, the School of Indigenous Studies, the School of Environmental Studies, and the Innovation Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping (ICAMP).