Based on CIER’s First Nations Integrated Watershed Planning Guidebooks, partners collaborated to initiate Indigenous-led watershed planning by raising awareness about watershed planning and establishing a process for an Indigenous-led Watershed Plan for the Ts’elxwéyeqw Territory. The initial step in this process was a two day workshop to bring together individuals from the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe and Stó:lō communities to take part in the first phase of an Indigenous-led Watershed Plan.
This phase involved:
- Confirming community interest in watershed planning;
- Learning about watershed planning through a series of short presentations, activities and discussion;
- Identifying key gaps and needs in community capacity; and,
- Establishing a process for developing a Ts’elxwéyeqw Watershed Plan.
The various activities included creating a vision for the water; brainstorming stakeholders; identifying community concerns and priorities; locating your First Nations in the watershed planning process; identifying next steps in the immediate, short and long-term; and, establishing a timeline of activities for the development of a watershed plan. These activities provided the opportunity for the participants to experience different parts of the planning process and to build their capacity to go through the same activities with other people within the watershed (e.g., community members, the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe Board of Directors, Council members, and/or other stakeholders).
The outcomes of this workshop included:
- A community-driven watershed planning approach with 5 overarching tasks, over two dozen activities, and a timeline for developing a watershed plan;
- An approach that builds upon existing Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe structures;
- Increased community capacity to undertake a comprehensive watershed plan;
- Increased knowledge of the health of the watershed and key threats; and,
- An understanding of key non-indigenous actors, policies and activities that impact the health of the watershed.
In moving forward, CIER, the WaterWealth Project and the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe will continue to work together on tackling the five overarching tasks the participants identified for developing a watershed plan.
This project was generously supported by the Vancouver Foundation, Tides Canada Foundation – Wild Salmon Ecosystem Fund and Blue Planet. For further information about this project or CIER’s First Nations Integrated Watershed Planning Guidebooks please contact Kate Cave at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credits: Kate Cave, CIER and Ian Stephen, WaterWealth Project