In October 2010, the RES’EAU WaterNET along with the UBC Faculty of Applied Science and the First Nations House of Learning held a public forum on Aboriginal water health. Participants included senior community leaders, water operators, scientists and students who discussed and tackled current challenges in synchronizing governance and technologies with communities’ health and water situations.
I had the opportunity to sit down and discuss the conference with Dr. Madjid Mohseni, a professor with UBC’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering as well as a member of the board of director’s for RES’EAU WaterNET. Dr. Mohseni’s area of expertise is in advanced oxidation and water treatment processes; particularly water treatment processes pertaining to drinking water. As Dr. Mohseni explained, the conference on Aboriginal Water Health was a follow up to a national workshop held in October 2009. During that conference, “there was an entire day focused on water related issues associated with First Nations communities.” I central need that was addressed during this national conference was “the need to have close interactions with communities, especially water operators in First Nations communities.” Dr. Mohseni explained that “the idea for [the conference] was for us [the conference organizers] to hear the challenges of running the water treatment systems from the operators…So we invited the operators to tell us their stories, their challenges, and the values that water has in their communities.”
To hear more about RES’EAU WaterNET or the conference on Aboriginal Water Health held at the Longhouse, watch the video above.