Supporting Water Governance in British Columbia
Improved decision-making and governance structures are needed to achieve better water outcomes – and to advance Indigenous rights, jurisdiction, and community capacity for watershed stewardship.
We are helping equip Indigenous leaders and communities with the necessary support, expertise, knowledge, and fluid skills to achieve ecological outcomes in water (and on land) through cross-cultural collaboration.
Our program’s dual focus on law and policy, and community engagement and capacity-building, helps ensure that freshwater – the foundation for life on earth – is protected.
The program is a joint initiative of CIER and the POLIS Water Sustainability Project,
based at the University of Victoria’s Centre for Global Studies.
Support Available for BC First Nations on Water Governance Projects
Support is available for BC First Nations: Contact us to start a conversation if you are interested to learn how we might partner to advance your water agenda. We are supporting First Nations’ water initiatives with direct coordination capacity and strategic governance advising in the following areas:
Scoping and Articulating Water Priorities:
- Develop a process to gather Indigenous and scientific knowledge about waters in the territory
- Identifying water priorities and opportunities, gap analysis
- Research and communication on priority community issues
Project Coordination and Facilitation:
- Developing an water governance declaration, strategy, or work-plan
- Convening non-Indigenous water users/decision-makers in your territory to communicate your Nation’s water priorities, and determine opportunities for collaboration around water
Partnership and funder outreach and negotiations:
- Developing a key elements for a communications strategy about your Nation’s water laws, values, plans
- Assist in preparing funding proposals
Collective Action on Freshwater Governance
In partnership with BC First Nations Fisheries Council, we are supporting an emerging network of BC First Nations who are leading innovative new water governance initiatives. Roundtables provide a space for peer learning and strategic collaboration, with the goal of advancing the collective vision of indigenous-led freshwater governance in British Columbia.
Researching New Governance Approaches
Building Broad Understanding of Water Co-Governance
In addition to our work with First Nations, we are also supporting non-Indigenous organizations with capacity-building resources and workshops, including local governments, collaborative watershed groups, academic groups, and provincial ministries.
Through this program, we work closely with a wide network of Indigenous and non-Indigenous decision-makers, influencers, academics, experts, and on-the-ground watershed organizations.
CIER partners with the POLIS Water Sustainability Project to lead and deliver this program. The POLIS project, based at the University of Victoria’s Centre for Global Studies, is based on a strong foundation of rigorous applied research that explores water and watershed law, policy, and governance with a focus on solutions, best practices, and opportunities for reform. POLIS is a nimble “think and do tank” that collaborates with a wide network of decision-makers, influencers, academics, experts, and on-the-ground organizations working across scales.
We are grateful for the generous support of our various sponsors: particularly the Sitka Foundation, for enabling our BC program.