Carry the Kettle man recognized for leadership in maintaining safe drinking water for community
- EFN Staff | September 12, 2019
A member of the Carry-The-Kettle Nakoda Nation is this year’s recipient of an award for his dedication to clean and safe drinking water in Indigenous communities.
In a recent announcement on September 10th, Deon Hassler is to receive the 2019 National First Nations Water Leadership Award, which is created by Indigenous Services Canada.
The Minister of Indigenous Services Seamus O’Regan thanked Hassler and congratulated him for winning the National First Nations Water Leadership Award.
“Water operators are essential to ensuring First Nations communities have access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water. Water operators work long hours, often with little recognition, to watch over their community’s water supply,” said Minister O’Regan in a media release. “It is the hard work and dedication of people like Deon that is vital in helping us achieve our goal of lifting all long-term drinking water advisories by 2021. Their work has been integral in the 87 successful lifts to date and is a key factor in the progress on the remaining 56 LTDWAs.”
Hassler is a decorated Military Veteran, former water plant operator, and Circuit Rider Technician and Trainer for FHQTC. He stated to ensure the health and safety of a community’s water supply, he takes his role very seriously as a Circuit Rider Trainer and a former water treatment plant operator.
“I am fortunate to be in a position where I can now share my years of experience and knowledge, to help train, mentor, guide, and assist new and future operators and leaders in the ongoing care, maintenance, and operation of this critical piece of community infrastructure,” stated Hassler.
The National First Nations Water Leadership Award was created by Indigenous Services Canada in March 2018 to recognize and honour Indigenous people or organizations that have demonstrated leadership and outstanding dedication to the advancement of clean and safe drinking water in Indigenous communities.
Circuit Rider Technicians and Trainers with FHQTC assist Water Plant Operators within their tribal council member nations to operate, monitor, and maintain drinking water and wastewater systems. Circuit Rider’s and Trainer’s also assist operators in achieving and maintaining certification, something Hassler has been passionate about for several years. Further to his work in training, he also formed the First Nations Water Association, an organization of First Nations water plant operators, technicians, circuit riders, and trainers.