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Students at The Queen Elizabeth School Raise Awareness and Funds for Clean Drinking Water
Students at The Queen Elizabeth School Raise Awareness and Funds for Clean Drinking Water
Posted on 04/13/2023

April 13, 2023 (Perth, ON) – Students at The Queen Elizabeth School are taking a stand to raise awareness and funds for clean drinking water for Indigenous communities.   

After learning about Anishinaabe Indigenous rights advocate Autumn Peltier and her mission to secure safe drinking water on all Canadian reserves, the school’s Grade 2/3 class was inspired to take action. The class wanted to contribute to the efforts of educating others about the struggles families on reserves face with unsafe drinking water and the importance of clean water for all.  

Their initiative began with researching the issues faced in Indigenous communities and selecting a charitable organization to raise funds for. The students selected Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation, an organization that is dedicated to supporting health, education, arts & culture, and recreation & sports for Indigenous youth, as well as supplying temporary clean drinking water solutions for Indigenous communities.

Students brainstormed and came up with various ways to raise funds. The first was designing stickers to sell, which have been printed, laminated, and cut by students at Carleton Place High School. The second is an online Facebook fundraiser on their Clean Water Matters Facebook page. All proceeds raised will go to the Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation 

Representatives from the organization Healthy First Nations and Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation travelled from Six Nations Reserve, near Brantford, Ont. to share their knowledge and experience with students at The Queen Elizabeth School. They discussed issues facing Indigenous communities and gave students a hands-on demonstration of how filters attach to faucets, buckets or water bottles to clean the water.  

As Veda Paul, one of the students involved in the project, says, “It was shocking and sad to find out that people in this country don’t have access to clean water. We hope our project will help others have clean water that we are fortunate to enjoy.”  

The Grade 2/3 students also hosted a school-wide assembly on World Water Day (March 22) to share their project and a video they made. The project has inspired the entire school to learn more about boil water advisories and how unhealthy water affects families on reserves across Canada.  

On March 31, students made signs expressing the importance of clean and safe water and participated in a school-wide Walk for Water that started at the school and continued through the Perth community to Stewart Park. The event involved community elder Francine Desjardins, who provided teachings on the powers of water.

"The students wanted to help and were inspired by Autumn Peltier, so they ended up developing their project over several months to build up to this point,” says Teacher Alaina Tanner of her Grade 2/3 science class.

Tanner adds that the teaching team has worked together to incorporate various curriculum expectations, including science, language, media, math, oral communication, social studies, social-emotional learning community, and stewardship of the land.  

The students' project has been aided by the Upper Canada District School Board’s Real-World Learning Partners and the support of the school’s teachers Kathryn Oliver and Stephanie Grant.

"The initiative taken by the Grade 2/3 students to raise awareness and funds for clean drinking water for Indigenous communities is truly inspiring,” says The Queen Elizabeth School Principal Claire Snider. “They have demonstrated compassion, dedication, and a strong sense of social responsibility throughout this real-world learning initiative.” 


Since March 29, students have raised over $1,500 between sticker sales and online donations with plans to develop more merchandise. The money raised so far will help 20 families have access to clean drinking water. 

For media inquiries, please contact:   

Claire Snider 


The Queen Elizabeth School 

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