Circuit Rider Training Program
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s Circuit Rider Training Program provides First Nation operators with hands-on training on how to operate, service and maintain the water and wastewater systems in their community, so that Aboriginal communities have safe access to drinking water. It is a key component of the Government of Canada’s First Nations Water and Wastewater Action Plan.
About the program
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada helps First Nation communities build and retain the capacity to operate, service and maintain their water and wastewater systems.
The Circuit Rider Training Program is a long-term capacity building program that provides training and mentoring services to operators of First Nations drinking water systems and wastewater systems. Qualified experts rotate through a circuit of First Nation communities, training the people responsible for operating, monitoring and maintaining drinking water and wastewater systems. These experts assist First Nation operators in obtaining and maintaining their certification and may also provide advice to chiefs and councils on how to develop and maintain their own safe water systems.
The program supports First Nations in:
- developing and maintaining capacity to manage systems
- increasing reliability of systems
- ensuring efficient operation
- ensuring standards for health and safety are met
- decreasing the number and duration of drinking water advisories
- maximizing the use of existing infrastructure
- providing 24-hour access to qualified experts in case of emergencies
Through the First Nations Water and Wastewater Action plan, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada invests over $10 million per year in the Circuit Riders Training Program. This plan is a joint initiative between Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and Health Canada that aims to improve the quality of life of First Nation communities by assisting First Nations to provide better water and wastewater services to their residents. Trained operators are key in helping First Nation communities to reduce and prevent risks and to ensure safe drinking water.
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada also supports improved water and wastewater systems through its Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program.
Who can apply?
Any First Nations band that operates a community drinking water system or wastewater system is automatically enrolled in this program. Any band can choose not to participate by informing their nearest Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada regional office.
There are no deadlines for this program, First Nations can access it at any time.
How to apply?
First Nations do not need to apply for this program. Any band that operates a community drinking water system or wastewater system is enrolled in the program automatically. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s regional offices hire a roster of qualified experts who are available to train First Nation operators. For more information, band council members can contact their nearest Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada regional office.