Saskatchewan

Carry the Kettle man selected for Water Leadership Award

Deon Hassler, a former water plant operator and First Nations veteran, has been named 2019's recipient of the First Nations Water Leadership Award.

Deon Hassler, Indigenous veteran, former water operator, named 2019 winner of Water Leadership Award

Deon Hassler, a former water plant operator and First Nations veteran, has been named 2019's recipient of the First Nations Water Leadership Award. (CBC)

A First Nations veteran and former water operator from Carry the Kettle Nakoda Nation is being recognized for his work in ensuring the community has access to clean and reliable drinking water. 

Deon Hassler shared his knowledge and expertise with other Indigenous communities through the File Hills Tribal Council's Circuit Rider Training Program for the last five years.

For his work, Hassler was named as the recipient of the 2019 National First Nations Water Leadership Award on Tuesday.

"Ensuring the health and safety of a community's water supply is a role I take very seriously," Hassler said through the news release.

Circuit riders such as Hassler are experts who travel to Indigenous communities, training people responsible for operating, monitoring and maintaining drinking water and wastewater systems. 

He also assists other First Nations operators in obtaining and maintaining their certification. He also provides advice to chiefs and councils.

The First Nations Water Leadership Award was created in 2018. Nominees for the award are First Nations individuals, community members, organizations or leaders.

Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O'Regan selected Hassler at the recommendation of an advisory committee.

"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," O'Regan said.