Toronto District School Board
Northview Heights Celebrates World Water Day

Northview Heights Celebrates World Water Day

Friday, April 07, 2017
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories

Each year, the United Nations celebrates World Water Day. The day focuses attention on the importance of access to fresh water and advocates for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. As an extension to this, schools all over the globe take part in "Walking for Water" activities. Over 500 Northview Heights Secondary School students and staff took part in an assembly and a Walk for Water in honour of World Water Day!  This event focused on raising awareness around indigenous communities in Canada without access to safe, clean water, in a country that has an enormous supply of fresh water

This was an opportunity to infuse indigenous education and environmental education into our practice, while all working together to provide an opportunity to get the Northview community out walking and raising awareness for this very important issue. Students make Northview proud for braving the cold and giving their voice to another community in Canada that needs to be heard, by participating in the Walk for Water.

The speaker for the assembly was Katie Vander Wielen, Education Program Manager with Water First. Water First is a registered Canadian charity that addresses water challenges in First Nations communities through education, training, and meaningful collaboration.  

In addition to this, a resource page was put together on the Northview Learning Commons Google Site with links to websites, articles and videos for staff to explore with their students. Each student and staff member who completed the walk was given a certificate to acknowledge their participation in this event.

Northview students also shared their views about World Water Day at Northview:

"I believe that it’s right to raise awareness and mindfulness about a major issue that deals with the lack of clean water that aboriginal communities face today.  It was amazing to see all the students and staff participate in the cause. They faced the frigid weather to raise awareness for clean water for aboriginal communities in Canada. It felt great to take part in the beginning of something that will turn into something much bigger, if we keep moving forward and raising awareness. I believe it's the start of something much bigger.  It's good to take part in a community initiative like this one that raises awareness. It's important that we are aware of the issues that are happening in our backyard and get the message out into our community. We are so focused on what's going on in other countries that we forget to see the major flaws in our own country."   Hayat Abdurhim, Grade 12 

"To me the message was to inform us Canadians about the issue of clean drinking water. The struggles Canadians need to go through to just receive the basic need of clean drinking water.   This event informed me about something that I didn’t know was a problem. I am so glad that we had an assembly and an event to recognize World Water Day. The assembly brought me back to reality about issues that aren’t supposed to be issues. In addition, this event made me more passionate about helping people outside my community who don’t have access to major things like clean water.  It’s very important to have students and teachers participate in something that is about taking a stand in our community. Just by having the walk right after the assembly, we informed people on the streets about what we were doing, and why we were doing it. This is an important issue in Canada, like many others, that we need to tackle so it doesn’t continue to ruin/damage families and communities." Ginelle Aziz, Grade 12  

"The purpose of all this was to raise awareness about how some indigenous communities don't have access to safe drinking water in Canada. When I first heard about this, I was a bit surprised because even if we are in the same country, we have water available for us at all times, yet they don't. Other students should join this activity because it raises awareness."  Joyce Lee, Grade 9 

"World Water Day is held annually on March 22 to raise awareness on the importance of clean water.  Many people worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water which is unfortunate because water is an essential for a healthy lifestyle.  Being part of the presentation prior to the walk really helped me see what some people have to go through just to get fresh water.  This made me want to take more steps towards helping these people and raise more awareness amongst our youth because the future is in our hands.  it is was very important for a lot of students to take part in this activity because we need to realize that we should not take clean water for granted.  It is a privilege not everyone has and as I said before we are the future so it is important that we have the knowledge to make a change that would make the world a better place."  Hania Shahid, Grade 9 

"The message of this event was to help raise awareness to help get aboriginal people in Canada clean safe water and for people to understand better what is going on right here in our own country.  This event made me want to get out there and try to help aboriginal people in our country as much as I could.  Students should participate in this activity because it increases their knowledge on this point. Also it is simply a good thing to do for your community."  Farin Khoshsorour, Grade 9 

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