Merrell-Ann is on the planning committee for the Living Waters Strategy document, which is currently in draft form. Working groups were formed at this year’s rally to continue developing the strategy. Merrell-Ann also presented in the Cross-Canada Roundup: Law, Policy & Implementation Across the Country plenary session, along with Tony Maas (Maas Strategies), Oliver Brandes (POLIS Project on Ecological Governance) and Marc Hudon (Nature Quebec), and the Precedent Setting? Tsilhqot’in First Nation and Grassy Narrows Rulings and Implications for Water Advocacy plenary session with Danika Littlechild (Neyaskweyahk Ermineskin Cree Nation).
Shianne joined the Living Waters Rally Steering Committee in June and facilitated the Hudson Watershed Regional Caucus at the Rally.
Rally Highlights (From Shianne’s perspective):
- Participating in the opening welcome and water ceremony on Victoria Island, hosted by Chief Gilbert Whiteduck and Elders Peter Decontie and Josee Whiteduck (Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg).
- Attending informative plenary sessions on building a freshwater membership list with impact, addressing First Nations water rights and access to clean drinking water, lessons in collaboration: Indigenous and non- Indigenous communities, crowdfunding and the art of the ask, and getting over charity chill: navigating the political waters of advocacy.
- Attending the RBC Cocktail Party at the RBC Freshwater Gallery in the Ottawa Museum of Nature.
- Opportunity to meet Dr. Stanley Vollant and the Innu Meshkanu Water Walkers (http://www.innu-meshkenu.com/en/.)
- Assisting in the preparation of the media news release that rally participants took to Parliament Hill to discuss with their local MP’s (Available on CIER’s website at http://www.yourcier.org/news-releases.html).
CIER would like to express their appreciation towards the RBC Blue Water Project, Tides Canada Foundation, and Patagonia for their support of the 2014 Living Waters Rally. We would like to extend a special thank you to Freshwater Alliance for giving CIER the opportunity to be a small part of such a large collective that will continue to make waves across the Nation.