Protecting our Sacred Water

Special thanks to the following for their support:

The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI)’s education programs around the world aim to promote sustainable citizenship; children and youth who understand the interconnectedness of the environment, society and the economy and have the skills, values and knowledge to take ethical and sustainable action on community development and conservation issues. JGI promotes informed and compassionate action and recognizes the importance of local and indigenous knowledge in the development and implementation of community projects.

The Guide

Together with our partner organization, Learning for a Sustainable Future, and a group of First Nation and Métis Elders and educators, the Jane Goodall Institute has created a guide called “Protecting our Sacred Water.”

Protecting our Sacred Water helps educators and youth program facilitators bring education for sustainable development to their students/youth in a transformative way through action projects. The guide provides tools for teachers to help youth choose a project topic and how to carry it out through the integration of FNMI ways of knowing. It is important that Aboriginal youth; Canada’s fastest growing and most marginalized population, see themselves as leaders in creating change. When youth are meaningfully engaged throughout the entire process, they are more likely to make positive changes for themselves and their community.

Training is available for adults who work with youth, and small grants to assist youth-led action projects that include activities from the guide. The map below shows a few of the current grant recipients.

2013 Grant Recpients


You can share your Sacred Water project here.

Curriculum connections

This guide helps students to achieve learning outcomes of curriculum across Canada. It is not something ‘extra’. Students learn ‘through’ the development and implementation of their action projects, rather than ‘about’ action.

Download Curriculum Connections.

Project Partner

Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF) is a Canadian charity, founded in 1991 to help prepare youth to become responsible citizens with the knowledge, skills, values, perspectives and practices to address the rising economic, social, and environmental challenges of the 21st century.

LSF works together with educators, students, parents, government, community members and business leaders to integrate the concepts and principles of sustainable development into education policy, school curricula, teacher education, and student-led action across Canada. Please visit

Why focus on water?
  • Many FNMI communities and other communities in Canada are faced with water issues every day, including no access to potable water.
  • Water is sacred.
  • Less than 1% of all water on Earth is “usable” fresh water.
  • Almost every living organism relies upon water for survival.
  • Our bodies are 66% water and require water to live.
  • We play in water.
  • Many modern manufacturing processes rely upon water.
  • Our food requires water to grow.

Despite all of this, we are not being careful with this sacred resource.

Water and Creation stories

Story telling is integral to Aboriginal ways of knowing. Protecting our Sacred Water includes a couple of traditional stories from both Canadian and Uganda indigenous groups. We would like to grow a bank of Creation and water stories for educators and program facilitators to access. Please share with us a meaningful Creation or water story from your community.

You can share your Water and Creation Stories here.

Action planning and support
Grant Information

Funding may be available to support youth-led water-based action projects developed using the guide, “Protecting our Sacred Water”.

Applicants for funding must demonstrate that the proposed project is youth-led and that activities from the guide have been used to develop specific skills, values and knowledge throughout the action planning process. For more information, please email:

Community Water Resources

Ontario Clean Water Agency
Provides safe, reliable and cost-effective clean water services across the province.
Learn More

Training for Educators AND Program Facilitators

Professional Development application

3 responses to “Protecting our Sacred Water

  1. Pingback: Bringing Traditional Ways of Knowing into the Classroom | Change is in you·

  2. Pingback: Get Involved with Roots & Shoots! | Change is in you·

  3. Pingback: Education for Sustainable Development | Change is in you·

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