Ryan Reynolds donates $500,000 to charity addressing Indigenous water crisis

Mar 24 2022, 3:07 pm

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively have donated $500,000 to an organization that’s addressing the Indigenous water crisis.

The Canadian charity, Water First Education and Training, teams up with Indigenous communities “to support access to clean drinking water through education, training, and meaningful collaboration.”

Reynold’s and Lively’s donation will help provide resources for young Indigenous adults to become water treatment plant operators and environmental water science technicians. It’ll also be used to engage Indigenous students in water sciences.

“There’s absolutely no reason Indigenous communities should not have access to safe, clean water,” said Reynolds in a statement. “All the individuals involved, whether they are operating water systems or monitoring their local water bodies, are critical.”

The Adam Project star first connected with the organization’s executive director John Millar back in January.

Ryan Reynolds

Water First

According to Water First, at least 15%, or approximately one in six First Nations communities in Canada, are still under a drinking water advisory. In fact, as of March 22, there were 25 short-term drinking water advisories across the country ranging from “boil water” to “do not consume” advisories.

The charity says many Indigenous communities with water challenges identified the need for more young, qualified personnel for support. This is why Water First worked with Indigenous leaders to design a water-focused education and training program for young adults.

“I am doing this for myself, my family, and community,” said Spencer Welling, a Water First intern from Wasauksing First Nation. “It’s important to know how things are done and gives you a better appreciation for it.”

Reynolds and Lively aren’t the only people who’ve shown support for the initiative. In January, a GoFundMe was created to raise money for the organization. It was in response to the “Freedom Convoy” GoFundMe campaign.

The organizer Megan Howarth asked people to “use our frustration, our anger, our disappointment” to show the “government and the world what Canadians are capable of.”

Reynolds and Lively have also shown support for Ukraine amidst the war, matching $1,000,000 in donations to the UN Refugee Agency.

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