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Lakeisha Barkman and Jerome Harper, shown here with their supervisor Prof. Shirley Thompson, won the audience prize for best student presentation at this year’s H2O conference.

Lakeisha Barkman and Jerome Harper, shown here with their supervisor Prof. Shirley Thompson, won the audience prize for best student presentation at this year’s H2O conference.

First Nations and students collaborate on cleaner water

Seven years after the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs launched its Water is a Human Right campaign, one in five homes in Garden Hill still had no toilet and residents hauled their drinking water in buckets. “This is hundreds of people who are still using pails,” said natural resources Prof. Shirley Thompson, who helped the community analyze its 2017 community survey data.

The survey results were presented by H2O program student Lakeisha Barkman on May 18 at the University of Manitoba’s fifth-annual First Nation water and sanitation security conference. Much of the research presented at the conference was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada under its Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program. The H2O program is exploring future funding options.

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