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While Ontario’s cities have benefited from a steady supply of clean water, Reserves have been under a boil water advisory and forced to import bottled water over decades.

The need for clean water in populating cities directly clashes with Indigenous communities’ need for clean water.


We conducted a stakeholder analysis and developed an experience map to understand the actors, their needs, and the power dynamics among them. Two significant barriers to innovation were identified:

First, the clash of cultures between Indigenous leaders, industry, and government. There is a deep lack of empathy and trust. Biases, worldviews, and colonial oppression damage relationships. The cultural, traditional, and spiritual importance of water for Indigenous people is not recognized and heard.

Second, simply unawareness of the settlers. In terms of accessing clean water what is granted to settlers is a daily struggle and burden for Indigenous communities. The right to water should entitle everyone without discrimination and yet the issue is not enough discussed within the human rights framework.



Since the mandated solutions were not welcomed by Indigenous communities and were inadequate to resolve the problem, we developed an educational experience and service-learning program designed to facilitate access to clean water on Indigenous territories.


Through a Business Model Canvas, we envisioned a program that would be well-received, co-designed, and facilitated by Indigenous communities that have the interest, resources, and capacity to host program participants.

The program primarily aimed to reach a targeted customer segment of post-secondary students that have some prior knowledge and understanding of Indigenous culture.


We created personas to picture and determine what they are doing, thinking, and feeling at every stage of the engagement process and demonstrated on an Experience Map and Journey Map Storyboard.

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