Annotated bibliography

Water in the West: Rights of Water/Rights to Water

2017 Annual CIH Community Forum

The following annotated bibliography includes selected institutional and academic publication that are relevant to the topic of this year’s community forum, Water in the West: Rights of Water/Rights to Water. Over 40 publications are categorized in 6 categories enlisted below. Please click on each category to see bibliographical references, an abstract of contents and a link to each publication, ordered alphabetically by the last name of first author.

The complete annotated bibliography of this project can be accessed through this link to Mendeley; it will be updated regularly leading to the seminar and will be available afterwards for references. If you use any citation software, you can export the bibliographic data for your convenient use. 

Digital research dossier produced by Mohammad Sadeghi Esfahlani, PhD, MBA

Water and International Institutions

Gupta, J., Ahlers, R., & Ahmed, L. (2010). The human right to water: Moving towards consensus in a fragmented world. Review of European Community and International Environmental Law, 19(3), 294–305. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9388.2010.00688.x

The problem of unmet water and sanitation service needs of one-sixth to one-third of humanity has been recognized by the UN General Assembly’s 2010 Resolution on the human right to water and sanitation. However, this raises a number of questions. First, does the consensus within the General Assembly imply that all governance actors accept the right and the accompanying responsibilities and does it override other governance discourses dominant in the global arena? Second, why is a human rights discourse superior to other discourses used to address the above problem? Third, what are the challenges in implementing such a discourse and what are the potential solutions? This article argues that although there is growing consensus on the human right to water, the fragmentation of water governance implies that the impact of the consensus is limited. It argues further that there is a real and pressing need to discuss access issues in terms of human rights; but that given the implementation challenges, there is a more active need to move from public–private partnerships to public–non- governmental organization partnerships.

Liebe, J., & Ardakanian, R. (2015). Proceedings on Water Education and Capacity Building: Key for Water Security and Sustainable Development, 7th World Water Forum. In M. Doria, A. Chagankerian, & N. Uribe (Eds.) (p. 44). Bonn: UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC). http://doi.org/http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002335/233579E.pdf

Water education and capacity building are key elements in providing the knowledge and skills required to face some of the current most pressing water challenges, and as such are essential components of any meaningful strategy towards sustainable development. While technical solutions are of great importance for development and need to be further explored, the past has shown that technical solutions alone – in the absence of education and capacity development – have often failed to lead to lasting and sustainable change.

Both water education and capacity building have been of great importance in making progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, within the International Decade for Action, ‘Water for Life’, 2005–2015, and will remain just as relevant as ‘means of implementation’ in ensuring progress towards the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals, which we expect in September 2015.

This publication presents a summary of the intense discussions held in Korea around these topics and provides an excellent starting point for deepening the discussion on the role of water education and capacity development for sustainable development, to motivate further research and to stimulate the development of projects and initiatives on this important issue for the achievement of water and water-related targets in the upcoming SDG framework.

Human Rights Watch. (2016). Canada’s Obligation to End the First Nations Water Crisis | HRW. Retrieved from https://www.hrw.org/report/2016/06/07/make-it-safe/canadas-obligation-end-first-nations-water-crisis

Canada, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, is also one of the most water-rich. The province of Ontario shares the Great Lakes—which contain 18 percent of the world’s fresh surface water—with the United States. Access to sufficient, affordable, and safe drinking water and adequate sanitation is easy for most Canadians. But this is not true for many First Nations indigenous persons. In stark contrast, the water supplied to many First Nations communities on lands known as reserves is contaminated, hard to access, or at risk due to faulty treatment systems. The government regulates water quality for off-reserve communities, but has no binding regulations for water on First Nations reserves.

UNESCO (2015) Advancing water education and capacity-building: key for water security and sustainable development. Recommendations for the future of water-related education for sustainable development. (2015). Paris. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002356/235630E.pdf

Water is a crucial resource to every form of life on our planet. We depend heavily on the resource to ensure our own survival, but also to carry out many important economic activities and provide proper sanitation, which are crucial elements for our well-being and health. Water also plays a critical role in poverty eradication, gender equality, food security and ecosystems preservation. Uniting the importance of water with capacities for sustainability, water education is necessary to promote the change we want.

This report aims to promote a reflection on the current status of water education and propose changes in the current approaches and methodologies employed to seek improvement and effectiveness. We hope to inspire our readers and substantially contribute to the work done in Education for Sustainable Development with a focus on water.

UNESCO International Hydrological Programme, Division of Water Sciences (2016) Water Security: Responses to Regional and Global Challenges (2014-2021). IHP-VIII. Paris. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002251/225103e.pdf

Freshwater is a key resource for human health, prosperity and security. It is essential for poverty eradication, gender equality, food security, and the preservation of ecosystems. Yet billions of people worldwide are confronted with serious freshwater challenges, from water scarcity, poor quality, lack of sanitation facilities, to water-related disasters such as floods and droughts. Almost half of the world's population will be living in areas with high water stress by 2030. The UN General Assembly declared access to clean water and sanitation a human right in July 2010. But lack of access to drinking water of adequate quality and quantity remains one of the largest human health problems globally. Although the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target on water supply was met in 2010, more than 700 million people still lack access to safe drinking water, nearly half are living in sub-Saharan Africa. The MDG target on sanitation was not met; at least 2.5 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation facilities, a large majority of those from rural areas. Water resources are under increasingly severe pressure from climate change and other global drivers. Climate change alters rainfall patterns, soil moisture, humidity, glacier-mass balance and river flow, and also causes changes to underground water sources. At the same time, floods or droughts are rising in frequency and intensity. Population growth and rapid urbanization will create further pressures on water resources and will have a tremendous impact on the natural environment. Urban populations are projected to increase to a total of 6.3 billion by 2050. Deteriorating water infrastructure in many parts of the world will impact public health and the environment. Given these challenges, the need to manage freshwater properly is essential. Sustainable water management is enshrined in the 2030 sustainable development agenda, with water-specific goals explicitly linked to other goals and climate-related issues.

World Meteorological Organization (2012). International Glossary of Hydrology. WMO 385. Geneva. Retrieved from: http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/hwrp/publications/international_glossary/385_IGH_2012.pdf

This 3rd edition of the UNESCO-WMO International Glossary of Hydrology builds on the pioneering efforts of the WMO Working Group on Terminology established in 1961 which evolved into the joint WMO/UNESCO Panel on Terminology in 1967, the work launched in the framework of International Hydrological Decade, as well as the publication of the first edition in 1974 and second edition in 1992. The fruit of a longstanding partnership, this edition was prepared by a Standing Committee on Terminology, comprising members designated by UNESCO and the WMO.


Water Rights and the Law

Boyd, D. R. (2011). No Taps, No Toilets: First Nations and the Constitutional Right to Water in Canada. McGill Law Journal, 57(1), 81–134. http://doi.org/10.7202/1006419ar

In 1977, the Canadian federal government promised to provide reserves with water and sanitation services comparable to similarly situated non-Aboriginal communities. Despite some progress, thousands of First Nations people, living on reserves across Canada, still lack access to running water or flush toilets. The adverse health effects associated with inadequate water infrastructure include elevated rates of communicable diseases such as influenza, whooping cough (pertussis), shigellosis, and impetigo. Do First Nations have an enforceable constitutional right to water? This article suggests that they do, based on the right to life, liberty, and security of the person under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; the right to equality under section 15 of the Charter; and governments' obligation to provide "essential public services of reasonable quality to all Canadians" under section 36 of the Constitution Act, 1982. The legal arguments available pursuant to these constitutional provisions are buttressed by Canada's obligations pursuant to international human rights law.

Collins, L. (2010). Environmental rights on the wrong side of history: Revisiting Canada’s position on the human right to water. Review of European Community and International Environmental Law, 19(3), 351–365. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9388.2010.00691.x

More than a billion people worldwide lack access to clean drinking water. A human-rights approach may constitute one salutary tool in global efforts to address this issue. The human right to water derives from environmental human rights writ large and is further sup- ported by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as interpreted in General Comment 15. In the face of a growing global crisis of water poverty, the author suggests that Canada ought to recognize a human right to water.

Dale, G., Mathai, M. V., & Puppim, de Oliveira, J. A. (2016). Green Growth: Ideology, Political Economy and the Alternatives. London: Zed Books Limited. Retrieved from: https://books.google.ca/books/about/Green_Growth.html?id=oiVkrgEACAAJ&source=kp_cover&redir_esc=y

The discourse of “green growth” has recently gained ground in environmental governance deliberations and policy proposals. It is presented as a fresh and innovative agenda centered on the deployment of engineering sophistication, managerial acumen, and market mechanisms to redress the environmental and social derelictions of the existing development model. But the green growth project is deeply inadequate, whether assessed against criteria of social justice or the achievement of sustainable economic life upon a materially finite planet. This volume outlines three main lines of critique. First, it traces the development of the green growth discourse qua ideology. It asks: what explains modern society’s investment in it, why has it emerged as a master concept in the contemporary conjuncture, and what social forces does it serve? Second, it unpicks and explains the contradictions within a series of prominent green growth projects. Finally, it weighs up the merits and demerits of alternative strategies and policies, asking the vital question: “If not green growth, then what?”

Engle, K. (2010). The Elusive Promise of Indigenous Development. Rights, Culture, Strategy. Duke University Press. http://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2012.632637

Around the world, indigenous peoples use international law to make claims for heritage, territory, and economic development. Karen Engle traces the history of these claims, considering the prevalence of particular legal frameworks and their costs and benefits for indigenous groups. Her vivid account highlights the dilemmas that accompany each legal strategy, as well as the persistent elusiveness of economic development for indigenous peoples. Focusing primarily on the Americas, Engle describes how cultural rights emerged over self-determination as the dominant framework for indigenous advocacy in the late twentieth century, bringing unfortunate, if unintended, consequences. Conceiving indigenous rights as cultural rights, Engle argues, has largely displaced or deferred many of the economic and political issues that initially motivated much indigenous advocacy. She contends that by asserting static, essentialized notions of indigenous culture, indigenous rights advocates have often made concessions that threaten to exclude many claimants, force others into norms of cultural cohesion, and limit indigenous economic, political, and territorial autonomy. Engle explores one use of the right to culture outside the context of indigenous rights, through a discussion of a 1993 Colombian law granting collective land title to certain Afro-descendant communities. Following the aspirations for and disappointments in this law, Engle cautions advocates for marginalized communities against learning the wrong lessons from the recent struggles of indigenous peoples at the international level.

Gupta, J., Ahlers, R., & Ahmed, L. (2010). The human right to water: Moving towards consensus in a fragmented world. Review of European Community and International Environmental Law, 19(3), 294–305. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9388.2010.00688.x

The problem of unmet water and sanitation service needs of one-sixth to one-third of humanity has been recognized by the UN General Assembly’s 2010 Resolution on the human right to water and sanitation. However, this raises a number of questions. First, does the consensus within the General Assembly imply that all governance actors accept the right and the accompanying responsibilities and does it override other governance discourses dominant in the global arena? Second, why is a human rights discourse superior to other discourses used to address the above problem? Third, what are the challenges in implementing such a discourse and what are the potential solutions? This article argues that although there is growing consensus on the human right to water, the fragmentation of water governance implies that the impact of the consensus is limited. It argues further that there is a real and pressing need to discuss access issues in terms of human rights; but that given the implementation challenges, there is a more active need to move from public–private partnerships to public–non- governmental organization partnerships.

Human Rights Watch. (2016). Canada’s Obligation to End the First Nations Water Crisis | HRW. Retrieved from https://www.hrw.org/report/2016/06/07/make-it-safe/canadas-obligation-end-first-nations-water-crisis

Canada, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, is also one of the most water-rich. The province of Ontario shares the Great Lakes—which contain 18 percent of the world’s fresh surface water—with the United States. Access to sufficient, affordable, and safe drinking water and adequate sanitation is easy for most Canadians. But this is not true for many First Nations indigenous persons. In stark contrast, the water supplied to many First Nations communities on lands known as reserves is contaminated, hard to access, or at risk due to faulty treatment systems. The government regulates water quality for off-reserve communities, but has no binding regulations for water on First Nations reserves.

Levasseur, J., & Marcoux, J. (2015, October 15). Bad water: “Third World” conditions on First Nations in Canada. CBC News. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/bad-water-third-world-conditions-on-first-nations-in-canada-1.3269500

Two-thirds of all First Nation communities in Canada have been under at least one drinking water advisory at some time in the last decade, a CBC News investigation has revealed. The numbers show that 400 out of 618 First Nations in the country had some kind of water problem between 2004 and 2014.

Liebe, J., & Ardakanian, R. (2015). Proceedings on Water Education and Capacity Building: Key for Water Security and Sustainable Development, 7th World Water Forum. In M. Doria, A. Chagankerian, & N. Uribe (Eds.) (p. 44). Bonn: UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC). http://doi.org/http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002335/233579E.pdf

Water education and capacity building are key elements in providing the knowledge and skills required to face some of the current most pressing water challenges, and as such are essential components of any meaningful strategy towards sustainable development. While technical solutions are of great importance for development and need to be further explored, the past has shown that technical solutions alone – in the absence of education and capacity development – have often failed to lead to lasting and sustainable change.

 

Both water education and capacity building have been of great importance in making progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, within the International Decade for Action, ‘Water for Life’, 2005–2015, and will remain just as relevant as ‘means of implementation’ in ensuring progress towards the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals, which we expect in September 2015.

This publication presents a summary of the intense discussions held in Korea around these topics and provides an excellent starting point for deepening the discussion on the role of water education and capacity development for sustainable development, to motivate further research and to stimulate the development of projects and initiatives on this important issue for the achievement of water and water-related targets in the upcoming SDG framework.

Mascarenhas, M., & Labillois, W. (2007). Where the Waters Divide: First Nations, Tainted Water and Environmental Justice in Canada. Local Environment, 12(6), 565–577. http://doi.org/10.1080/13549830701657265

This paper argues for a strengthening of the theoretical relationship between neo-liberalism and environmental justice. Empirical research involving First Nations communities in southwestern Ontario suggests that neo-liberal reforms introduced in the mid-1990s were particularly discriminatory against Canada's indigenous peoples, serving to exacerbate historical disparities in health, environment pollution, and well-being. In particular, under neo-liberal reform in Ontario, recognition of environmental injustices has become much more difficult for First Nations communities. Furthermore, this 'new' form of environmental governance has broadly reduced legitimate opportunities for First Nations to participate in environmental governance that affects their health and welfare. In short, this research supports a widening of the definition of environmental justice advocated by David Schlosberg and others (Environmental Politics, 13(3) (2004), pp. 517 – 540; Agyeman, Bullard and Evans 2003; Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment, Research Advisory committee 1997; Di Chiro 1998) if we are to understand the subtle, complex and multiple ways that this new form of environmental governance is particularly harmful to marginalized groups, such as First Nations in Canada.

Morris, M., & de Loë R. C. (2016). Cooperative and adaptive transboundary water governance in Canada’s Mackenzie River Basin: Status and prospects. Ecology and Society, 21(1), 331–343. http://doi.org/10.5751/ES-08301-210126

Canada’s Mackenzie River Basin (MRB) is one of the largest relatively pristine ecosystems in North America. Home to indigenous peoples for millennia, the basin is also the site of increasing resource development, notably fossil fuels, hydroelectric power resources, minerals, and forests. Three provinces, three territories, the Canadian federal government, and Aboriginal governments (under Canada’s constitution, indigenous peoples are referred to as “Aboriginal”) have responsibilities for water in the basin, making the MRB a significant setting for cooperative, transboundary water governance. A framework agreement that provides broad principles and establishes a river basin organization, the MRB Board, has been in place since 1997. However, significant progress on completing bilateral agreements under the 1997 Mackenzie River Basin Transboundary Waters Master Agreement has only occurred since 2010. We considered the performance of the MRB Board relative to its coordination function, accountability, legitimacy, and overall environmental effectiveness. This allowed us to address the extent to which governance based on river basin boundaries, a bioregional approach, could contribute to adaptive governance in the MRB. Insights were based on analysis of key documents and published studies, 19 key informant interviews, and additional interactions with parties involved in basin governance. We found that the MRB Board’s composition, its lack of funding and staffing, and the unwillingness of the governments to empower it to play the role envisioned in the Master Agreement mean that as constituted, the board faces challenges in implementing a basin-wide vision. This appears to be by design. The MRB governments have instead used the bilateral agreements under the Master Agreement as the primary mechanism through which transboundary governance will occur. A commitment to coordinating across the bilateral agreements is needed to enhance the prospects for adaptive governance in the basin.

Napoleon, V. (2013). Thinking About Indigenous Legal Orders. In Dialogues on Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (pp. 229–245). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-4710-4_11

Rethinking Indigenous legal orders and law is fundamentally about rebuilding citizenship. The theory underlying this chapter is that it is possible to develop a flexible, overall legal framework that Indigenous peoples might use to express and describe their legal orders and laws so that they can be applied to present-day problems. This framework must be able to first, reflect the legal orders and laws of decentralized (i.e. non-state) Indigenous peoples, and second, allow for the diverse way that each society’s culture is reflected in their legal orders and laws. In turn, this framework will allow each society to draw on a deeper understanding of how their own legal traditions might be used to resolve contemporary conflicts. Colonial histories cannot be undone. This means that Indigenous peoples must figure out how to reconcile former decentralized legal orders and law with a centralized state and legal system. Any process of reconciliation must include political deliberation on the part of an informed and involved Indigenous citizenry.

Napoleon, V., & Friedland, H. (2015). An Inside Job: Engaging with Indigenous Legal Traditions through Stories. McGill Law Journal, 61. Retrieved from http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/mcgil61&id=768&div=28&collection=journals

There has been a growing momentum toward a greater recognition and explicit use of Indigenous laws in the past several years. According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report, the revitalization and recognition of Indigenous laws are essential to reconciliation in Canada. How, then, do we go about doing this? In this article, we introduce one method, which we believe has great potential for working respectfully and productively with Indigenous laws today. We engage with Indigenous legal traditions by carefully and consciously applying adapted common law tools, such as legal analysis and synthesis, to existing and often publicly available Indigenous resources: stories, narratives, and oral histories. By bringing common pedagogical approaches from many Indigenous legal traditions together with standard common law legal education, we hope to help people learn Indigenous laws from an internal point of view. We share experiences that reveal that this method holds great potential as a pedagogical bridge “into” respectful engagement with Indigenous laws and legal thought, within and across Indigenous, academic, and professional communities. In conclusion, we argue that, while this method is a useful tool, it is not intended to supplant existing learning and teaching methods, but rather to supplement them. In practice, we have seen that this method can be complementary to learning deeply through other means. There are many methods to engage with Indigenous laws, and there needs to be critical reflection and conversations about them all.

Napoleon, V., & Overstall, R. (2007). Indigenous Laws: Some Issues, Considerations and Experiences (No. 281). Aboriginal Policy Research Consortium International (APRCi) (Vol. 2). Retrieved from http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/aprci

Aboriginal law does not only exist somewhere in untouched cultures of the past. We contend that legal principles and obligations of aboriginal law are reflected in the actual work, structures, and life of present day aboriginal peoples and communities. Furthermore, in every society, legal norms and law are constantly changing. It is critical, therefore, that research strategies be designed to prevent creating static or reified constructs of aboriginal legal orders and law. Given this, we suggest that future research strategies include investigating past and present change processes, and whether and how aboriginal legal principles may be drawn from present-day decision-making, conflict, and relationships.

In this paper, we discuss ways to think about and research law concerning peoples’ relationship with their natural environment that are potentially more useful for non-state aboriginal peoples with decentralized political structures and authorities. To conclude the paper, we suggest several long-term strategies that aboriginal peoples might consider to research and implement their law relating to their land, resources and non-human life forms, and more broadly, their environment.

Paisley, R., McKinney, M., & Stenovec, M. (2015). A Sacred Responsibility: Governing the Use of Water and Related Resources in the International Columbia Basin Through the Prism of Tribes and First Nations. Public Land & Resources Law Review, 37(1), 196. Retrieved from http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca/ehost/detail/detail?sid=66b17aaa-c740-4afb-80a5-72deaaf41dc7%40sessionmgr4006&vid=0&hid=4206&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3D%3D#AN=115738145&db=eih

The article focuses on history and ongoing role of tribes and First Nations in governing the use of land and water resources in the Columbia Basin. It mentions that the legal framework that defines the role of indigenous people in international law, treaties, and transboundary water governance. It also mentions that implementation of governance arrangements for international waters.

Parr, A. (2009). Hijacking Sustainability. International (Vol. 22). MIT Press. http://doi.org/10.1093/iclqaj/22.1.183

The idea of "sustainability" has gone mainstream. Thanks to Prius-driving movie stars, it's even hip. What began as a grassroots movement to promote responsible development has become a bullet point in corporate ecobranding strategies. In Hijacking Sustainability, Adrian Parr describes how this has happened: how the goals of an environmental movement came to be mediated by corporate interests, government, and the military. Parr argues that the more popular sustainable development becomes, the more commodified it becomes; the more mainstream culture embraces the sustainability movement's concern over global warming and poverty, the more "sustainability culture" advances the profit-maximizing values of corporate capitalism. And the more issues of sustainability are aligned with those of national security, the more military values are conflated with the goals of sustainable development. Parr looks closely at five examples of the hijacking of sustainability: corporate image-greening by such companies as British Petroleum (BP) and Wal-Mart; Hollywood activism by Leonardo DiCaprio and other movie industry figures; the autonomy of communal ecovillages vs. the military-like security of gated communities; the greening of the White House (and its de-greening: Ronald Reagan famously removed solar panels installed by Jimmy Carter); and the incongruous efforts to achieve a "sustainable" army. Parr then examines key challenges to sustainability waste disposal, disaster relief and environmental refugees, slum development, and poverty. Sustainability, Parr says, has captured our imagination at a time when we are discouraged and demoralized by a failed war and general governmental incompetence; it offers an alternative narrative of the collective good—an idea now compromised and endangered by corporate, military, and government interests.

Phare, M.-A. (2009). Denying the Source: The Crisis of First Nations Water Rights. Rocky Mountain Books. Retrieved from: https://books.google.ca/books?id=hQPslYzH9zMC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

First Nations are facing some of the worst water crises in Canada and throughout North America. Their widespread lack of access to safe drinking water receives ongoing national media attention, and yet progress addressing the causes of the problem is painfully slow. First Nations have had little say in how their waters are, or are not, protected. They have been excluded from many important decisions, as provinces operate under the view that they own the water resources within provincial boundaries, and the federal government takes a hands-off approach. The demands for access to waters that First Nations depend upon are intense and growing. Oil and gas, mining, ranching, farming and hydro-development all require enormous quantities of water, and each brings its own set of negative impacts to the rivers, lakes and groundwater sources that are critical to First Nations. Climate change threatens to make matters even worse. Over the last 30 years, the courts have clarified that First Nations have numerous rights to land and resources, including the right to be involved in decision-making. This book is a call to respect the water rights of First Nations, and through this create a new water ethic in Canada and beyond.

Von der Porten, S., & De Loë, R. C. (2013). Collaborative approaches to governance for water and Indigenous peoples: A case study from British Columbia, Canada. Geoforum, 50, 149–160. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2013.09.001

Indigenous peoples around the world hold views about identity, self-determination and nationhood that often are distinct from those of governments and others involved in environmental governance. Conflicts and tensions often result when these incompatible perspectives clash. This problem is evident in the context of collaborative approaches to environmental problem solving, which often are grounded in the assumption that Indigenous peoples simply are one of many stakeholders; this perspective is fundamentally incompatible with the concept of Indigenous peoples as existing within self-determining nations. Using an empirical case of collaborative governance for water in the province of British Columbia, Canada, this paper explores the extent to which collaborative practices reflect Indigenous concerns and perspectives. In the cases examined, collaborative practices tended not to recognize or account for concepts related to Indigenous self-determination and nationhood in ways that were accepted by affected First Nations people. We conclude with suggestions for ways in which the gap between collaborative practice and Indigenous perspectives can be addressed.2013 Elsevier Ltd.

World Meteorological Organization (2012). International Glossary of Hydrology. WMO 385. Geneva. Retrieved from: http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/hwrp/publications/international_glossary/385_IGH_2012.pdf

This 3rd edition of the UNESCO-WMO International Glossary of Hydrology builds on the pioneering efforts of the WMO Working Group on Terminology established in 1961 which evolved into the joint WMO/UNESCO Panel on Terminology in 1967, the work launched in the framework of International Hydrological Decade, as well as the publication of the first edition in 1974 and second edition in 1992. The fruit of a longstanding partnership, this edition was prepared by a Standing Committee on Terminology, comprising members designated by UNESCO and the WMO.


Indigenous Water Rights

The Right To Clean Water in First Nations Initiative. http://news-centre.uwinnipeg.ca/all-posts/the-right-to-clean-water-in-first-nations-initiative/

UWinnipeg’s Dr. Melanie O’Gorman and Dr. Danielle Gaucher are members of the Water Rights Research Consortium that has been recently awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Development Grant (PDG) for the right to clean water in First Nations: the most precious gift. The overall project is led by University of Manitoba Law Professor Karen Busby, who heads the Centre for Human Rights Research.

The research will proactively confront the issue of inadequate drinking water and sanitation in First Nations communities consisting of three research clusters (economics, legal and public engagement). Researchers involved in the project hope that their interdiciplinary approach and the partnership they  develop in this project may serve as a model that could be applied to other research questions of interest to First Nations.  The three main themes within the project will help develop evidence-based advocacy strategies that reflect First Nations’ interests, perspectives and knowledge.

Anderson, K., Clow, B., & Haworth Brockman, M. (2013). Carriers of water: Aboriginal women’s experiences, relationships, and reflections. Journal of Cleaner Production, 60, 11–17. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2011.10.023

 In many Aboriginal cultures, women have a special and distinct relationship to water, which is rooted in cultural beliefs, social practices and economic contexts as well as in women's role in reproduction. Yet Aboriginal women have often been excluded from discussions and decisions about water management, with the result that their knowledge has not necessarily been brought to bear on the development of protocols and practices. Including these women's views is critical if we hope to understand the spiritual, social, and cultural meanings as well as the economic and political importance of water quality and security. These perspectives, in turn, are essential for the formulation of appropriate and sustainable water management. In 2010, we conducted interviews with 11 Aboriginal women elders from across Canada and, through grounded theoretical analysis, gained insight into their complex understandings of and relationships to water. Many participants drew attention to the spiritual significance of water, including their understanding of water as sentient with different levels of power and purpose. They also stressed that disrespect for or carelessness in managing the relationship with water affects spiritual and community well-being as well as physical health. As we work to address issues of water quality and security, we need to be mindful of the complex meanings and purposes of water in the lives of Aboriginal women and their communities. We also need to recognize that the knowledge of Aboriginal women can contribute to improved water management policies and practices. 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Bell, C., & Napoleon, V. (2009). First Nations Cultural Heritage and Law: Case Studies, Voices, and Perspectives. Vancouver: UBC Press. Retrieved from https://books.google.ca/books?id=avKUsA40Q0QC&source=gbs_navlinks_s

First Nations Cultural Heritage and Law explores First Nations perspectives on cultural heritage and issues of reform within and beyond Western law. Written in collaboration with First Nation partners, it contains seven case studies featuring indigenous concepts, legal orders, and encounters with legislation and negotiations; a national review essay; three chapters reflecting on major themes; and a self-reflective critique on the challenges of collaborative and intercultural research. Although the volume draws on specific First Nation experiences, it covers a wide range of topics of concern to Inuit, Metis, and other indigenous peoples.

Boyd, D. R. (2011). No Taps, No Toilets: First Nations and the Constitutional Right to Water in Canada. McGill Law Journal, 57(1), 81–134. http://doi.org/10.7202/1006419ar

In 1977, the Canadian federal government promised to provide reserves with water and sanitation services comparable to similarly situated non-Aboriginal communities. Despite some progress, thousands of First Nations people, living on reserves across Canada, still lack access to running water or flush toilets. The adverse health effects associated with inadequate water infrastructure include elevated rates of communicable diseases such as influenza, whooping cough (pertussis), shigellosis, and impetigo. Do First Nations have an enforceable constitutional right to water? This article suggests that they do, based on the right to life, liberty, and security of the person under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; the right to equality under section 15 of the Charter; and governments' obligation to provide "essential public services of reasonable quality to all Canadians" under section 36 of the Constitution Act, 1982. The legal arguments available pursuant to these constitutional provisions are buttressed by Canada's obligations pursuant to international human rights law.

Collins, L. (2010). Environmental rights on the wrong side of history: Revisiting Canada’s position on the human right to water. Review of European Community and International Environmental Law, 19(3), 351–365. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9388.2010.00691.x

More than a billion people worldwide lack access to clean drinking water. A human-rights approach may constitute one salutary tool in global efforts to address this issue. The human right to water derives from environmental human rights writ large and is further sup- ported by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as interpreted in General Comment 15. In the face of a growing global crisis of water poverty, the author suggests that Canada ought to recognize a human right to water.

Egan, B., & Place, J. (2013). Minding the gaps: Property, geography, and Indigenous peoples in Canada. Geoforum, 44, 129–138. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2012.10.003

Indigenous peoples' property rights are hotly debated in legal, policy, and academic circles across Canada. This article explores three such debates in which Indigenous peoples and lands are centrally implicated: debates over implementing fee simple ownership on Indigenous lands, over securing land rights through modern treaty making, and over matrimonial real property rights on Indian reserves. Each of these debates, we argue, revolves around a perceived " property gap", a term we use to denote conflicting understandings of what property is (or should be), what it should accomplish, and a perceived absence or failure in property law. While such gaps are commonly identified as sites where Indigenous and Western ideas about property come into conflict, creating absences or discontinuities that need mending, they can also be understood as openings where taken-for-granted conceptions of property are " up for grabs" The property debates examined here reflect ongoing struggles over geography, highlighting contention over who can legitimately claim " ownership" over certain spaces and who can control how lands are used and governed. More broadly, they reflect efforts to " locate" Indigenous peoples vis-a-vis the modern settler state of Canada. Rather than working to " fix" these property gaps through imposition of dominant Western property ideas and structures, we stress the need to explore a broader range of property options at these sites, including those shaped by Indigenous understandings of property and geography. 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Engle, K. (2010). The Elusive Promise of Indigenous Development. Rights, Culture, Strategy. Duke University Press. http://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2012.632637

Around the world, indigenous peoples use international law to make claims for heritage, territory, and economic development. Karen Engle traces the history of these claims, considering the prevalence of particular legal frameworks and their costs and benefits for indigenous groups. Her vivid account highlights the dilemmas that accompany each legal strategy, as well as the persistent elusiveness of economic development for indigenous peoples. Focusing primarily on the Americas, Engle describes how cultural rights emerged over self-determination as the dominant framework for indigenous advocacy in the late twentieth century, bringing unfortunate, if unintended, consequences. Conceiving indigenous rights as cultural rights, Engle argues, has largely displaced or deferred many of the economic and political issues that initially motivated much indigenous advocacy. She contends that by asserting static, essentialized notions of indigenous culture, indigenous rights advocates have often made concessions that threaten to exclude many claimants, force others into norms of cultural cohesion, and limit indigenous economic, political, and territorial autonomy. Engle explores one use of the right to culture outside the context of indigenous rights, through a discussion of a 1993 Colombian law granting collective land title to certain Afro-descendant communities. Following the aspirations for and disappointments in this law, Engle cautions advocates for marginalized communities against learning the wrong lessons from the recent struggles of indigenous peoples at the international level.

Human Rights Watch. (2016). Canada’s Obligation to End the First Nations Water Crisis | HRW. Retrieved from https://www.hrw.org/report/2016/06/07/make-it-safe/canadas-obligation-end-first-nations-water-crisis

Canada, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, is also one of the most water-rich. The province of Ontario shares the Great Lakes—which contain 18 percent of the world’s fresh surface water—with the United States. Access to sufficient, affordable, and safe drinking water and adequate sanitation is easy for most Canadians. But this is not true for many First Nations indigenous persons. In stark contrast, the water supplied to many First Nations communities on lands known as reserves is contaminated, hard to access, or at risk due to faulty treatment systems. The government regulates water quality for off-reserve communities, but has no binding regulations for water on First Nations reserves.

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. (2011). National Assessment of First Nations Water and Wastewater Systems - Ontario Regional Roll-Up Report. Orangeville. Retrieved from https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1314634863253/1314634934122#chp3_3_1

The purpose of the National Assessment is to define current deficiencies and operational

needs of water and wastewater systems, to identify long-term water and wastewater

needs for each community and to review sustainable, long-term infrastructure development strategies for the next ten years. The recommendations are grouped according to infrastructure needs, operations and capacity, and reflections on regulations and guidelines.

Nationally, 571 of 587 First Nations (97%) participated in the study. Four First Nations chose not to participate, while 12 First Nations have no active infrastructure on reserve lands, in some cases as a result of recent or ongoing land claim settlements.

Klasing, A. (2016, August 30). Why is Canada denying its indigenous peoples clean water? - The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail, p. 3. Retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/why-is-canada-denying-its-indigenous-peoples-clean-water/article31599791/

Dozens of communities languish for years on the priority list analyzed by The Globe, thanks to years of unpredictable or insufficient funding for water systems. The federal government funds water budgets at a deficit, meaning that communities often do not have enough money to keep systems in good working order. Meanwhile, the quality and safety of source water has declined, with new contaminants such as personal care products and pharmaceutical waste making water more expensive to treat.

The Trudeau government has taken historic steps to resolve the crisis by increasing its water budget and promising to end long-term boil water advisories in five years. But the government data obtained by The Globe show that ending the crisis requires systemic changes to reduce risks for everyone living on reserve. The government should be collaborating with First Nations to a develop a plan for long-term and sustainable solutions with measurable targets to monitor success.

Laidlaw, D., & Passelac-Ross, M. (2010). Water Rights and Water Stewardship: What about Aboriginal Peoples? (Resources No. 107). Calgary. Retrieved from http://dspace.ucalgary.ca/bitstream/1880/47784/1/Resources107.pdf

The province of Alberta is currently reviewing its approach to the allocation, licensing and transfer of water rights. The government has received advice from three groups of experts established under various government initiatives. Concerned citizens have also come forward with their own recommendations, calling for an "overhaul to Alberta's water rights system, to ensure that water is secured for people and the environment ". In addition, the government has announced that it will hold public consultations on the proposed review of its water allocation and management system in the summer of 2010. One of the striking features of the reports received by government is the quasi-absence of attention paid to the issue of Aboriginal uses of, and rights to, water. First Nations are only mentioned, along with other designated groups, in one recommendation of the report submitted by the Minister's Advisory Group dealing with governance of water management and allocation. One of the reasons for this lack of attention paid to Aboriginal rights to water is Alberta's long-standing position that Aboriginal water rights have been extinguished and that the province has exclusive jurisdiction over water in the province. This position has been challenged by several First Nations in lawsuits alleging that their water rights still exist, both on and off reserve, and they should receive the benefit of constitutional protection. Aboriginal peoples also assert that they must be adequately consulted by the government on proposed reviews of the water allocation system and on ongoing land and water initiatives that impact their rights. In that respect, the government has stated that it will seek input from First Nations on water use and watershed planning initiatives through a separate "yet parallel process".

Levasseur, J., & Marcoux, J. (2015, October 15). Bad water: “Third World” conditions on First Nations in Canada. CBC News. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/bad-water-third-world-conditions-on-first-nations-in-canada-1.3269500

Two-thirds of all First Nation communities in Canada have been under at least one drinking water advisory at some time in the last decade, a CBC News investigation has revealed. The numbers show that 400 out of 618 First Nations in the country had some kind of water problem between 2004 and 2014.

Mascarenhas, M., & Labillois, W. (2007). Where the Waters Divide: First Nations, Tainted Water and Environmental Justice in Canada. Local Environment, 12(6), 565–577. http://doi.org/10.1080/13549830701657265

This paper argues for a strengthening of the theoretical relationship between neo-liberalism and environmental justice. Empirical research involving First Nations communities in southwestern Ontario suggests that neo-liberal reforms introduced in the mid-1990s were particularly discriminatory against Canada's indigenous peoples, serving to exacerbate historical disparities in health, environment pollution, and well-being. In particular, under neo-liberal reform in Ontario, recognition of environmental injustices has become much more difficult for First Nations communities. Furthermore, this 'new' form of environmental governance has broadly reduced legitimate opportunities for First Nations to participate in environmental governance that affects their health and welfare. In short, this research supports a widening of the definition of environmental justice advocated by David Schlosberg and others (Environmental Politics, 13(3) (2004), pp. 517 – 540; Agyeman, Bullard and Evans 2003; Akwesasne Task Force on the Environment, Research Advisory committee 1997; Di Chiro 1998) if we are to understand the subtle, complex and multiple ways that this new form of environmental governance is particularly harmful to marginalized groups, such as First Nations in Canada.

Matsui, K. (2009). Native peoples and water rights: Irrigation, dams, and the law in western Canada. McGill-Queen’s University Press. Retrieved from https://books.google.ca/books?id=mfIL0uCAkN4C&lpg=PP1&dq=Native%20peoples%20and%20water%20rights%3A%20Irrigation%2C%20dams%2C%20and%20the%20law%20in%20western%20Canada&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=Native%20peoples%20and%20water%20rights:%20Irrigation,%20dams,%20and%20the%20law%20in%20western%20Canada&f=false

Economic developments in irrigation, agriculture, and hydroelectric power generation in western Canada at the turn of the last century challenged the way Native peoples had traditionally managed the watershed environment. Facing rapidly expanding provincial and federal power as well as private industries, Native peoples saw opportunities to protect their self-governing rights and explore reserve-based economy. Through a combination of field work and archival research, Kenichi Matsui offers an original and pioneering overview of the evolution of water law and agricultural policies in the Canadian west. By incorporating the history of water law philosophies, water development technologies, agricultural policies, and cross-cultural theories, Matsui constructs an interdisciplinary analysis of how both Native peoples and non-native stakeholders struggled for better rights and livelihood through litigation, political campaigns, and direct actions. The dramatic stories of early cultural, legal, and political conflict in interior British Columbia and Alberta featured in Native Peoples and Water Rights enrich our understanding of current Native rights disputes throughout North America. © McGill-Queen's University Press 2009.

Morris, M., & de Loë R. C. (2016). Cooperative and adaptive transboundary water governance in Canada’s Mackenzie River Basin: Status and prospects. Ecology and Society, 21(1), 331–343. http://doi.org/10.5751/ES-08301-210126

Canada’s Mackenzie River Basin (MRB) is one of the largest relatively pristine ecosystems in North America. Home to indigenous peoples for millennia, the basin is also the site of increasing resource development, notably fossil fuels, hydroelectric power resources, minerals, and forests. Three provinces, three territories, the Canadian federal government, and Aboriginal governments (under Canada’s constitution, indigenous peoples are referred to as “Aboriginal”) have responsibilities for water in the basin, making the MRB a significant setting for cooperative, transboundary water governance. A framework agreement that provides broad principles and establishes a river basin organization, the MRB Board, has been in place since 1997. However, significant progress on completing bilateral agreements under the 1997 Mackenzie River Basin Transboundary Waters Master Agreement has only occurred since 2010. We considered the performance of the MRB Board relative to its coordination function, accountability, legitimacy, and overall environmental effectiveness. This allowed us to address the extent to which governance based on river basin boundaries, a bioregional approach, could contribute to adaptive governance in the MRB. Insights were based on analysis of key documents and published studies, 19 key informant interviews, and additional interactions with parties involved in basin governance. We found that the MRB Board’s composition, its lack of funding and staffing, and the unwillingness of the governments to empower it to play the role envisioned in the Master Agreement mean that as constituted, the board faces challenges in implementing a basin-wide vision. This appears to be by design. The MRB governments have instead used the bilateral agreements under the Master Agreement as the primary mechanism through which transboundary governance will occur. A commitment to coordinating across the bilateral agreements is needed to enhance the prospects for adaptive governance in the basin.

Napoleon, V. (2013). Thinking About Indigenous Legal Orders. In Dialogues on Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (pp. 229–245). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-4710-4_11

Rethinking Indigenous legal orders and law is fundamentally about rebuilding citizenship. The theory underlying this chapter is that it is possible to develop a flexible, overall legal framework that Indigenous peoples might use to express and describe their legal orders and laws so that they can be applied to present-day problems. This framework must be able to first, reflect the legal orders and laws of decentralized (i.e. non-state) Indigenous peoples, and second, allow for the diverse way that each society’s culture is reflected in their legal orders and laws. In turn, this framework will allow each society to draw on a deeper understanding of how their own legal traditions might be used to resolve contemporary conflicts. Colonial histories cannot be undone. This means that Indigenous peoples must figure out how to reconcile former decentralized legal orders and law with a centralized state and legal system. Any process of reconciliation must include political deliberation on the part of an informed and involved Indigenous citizenry.

Napoleon, V., & Friedland, H. (2015). An Inside Job: Engaging with Indigenous Legal Traditions through Stories. McGill Law Journal, 61. Retrieved from http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/mcgil61&id=768&div=28&collection=journals

There has been a growing momentum toward a greater recognition and explicit use of Indigenous laws in the past several years. According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report, the revitalization and recognition of Indigenous laws are essential to reconciliation in Canada. How, then, do we go about doing this? In this article, we introduce one method, which we believe has great potential for working respectfully and productively with Indigenous laws today. We engage with Indigenous legal traditions by carefully and consciously applying adapted common law tools, such as legal analysis and synthesis, to existing and often publicly available Indigenous resources: stories, narratives, and oral histories. By bringing common pedagogical approaches from many Indigenous legal traditions together with standard common law legal education, we hope to help people learn Indigenous laws from an internal point of view. We share experiences that reveal that this method holds great potential as a pedagogical bridge “into” respectful engagement with Indigenous laws and legal thought, within and across Indigenous, academic, and professional communities. In conclusion, we argue that, while this method is a useful tool, it is not intended to supplant existing learning and teaching methods, but rather to supplement them. In practice, we have seen that this method can be complementary to learning deeply through other means. There are many methods to engage with Indigenous laws, and there needs to be critical reflection and conversations about them all.

Paisley, R., McKinney, M., & Stenovec, M. (2015). A Sacred Responsibility: Governing the Use of Water and Related Resources in the International Columbia Basin Through the Prism of Tribes and First Nations. Public Land & Resources Law Review, 37(1), 196. Retrieved from http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca/ehost/detail/detail?sid=66b17aaa-c740-4afb-80a5-72deaaf41dc7%40sessionmgr4006&vid=0&hid=4206&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3D%3D#AN=115738145&db=eih

The article focuses on history and ongoing role of tribes and First Nations in governing the use of land and water resources in the Columbia Basin. It mentions that the legal framework that defines the role of indigenous people in international law, treaties, and transboundary water governance. It also mentions that implementation of governance arrangements for international waters.

Phare, M.-A. (2009). Denying the Source: The Crisis of First Nations Water Rights. Rocky Mountain Books. Retrieved from: https://books.google.ca/books?id=hQPslYzH9zMC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

First Nations are facing some of the worst water crises in Canada and throughout North America. Their widespread lack of access to safe drinking water receives ongoing national media attention, and yet progress addressing the causes of the problem is painfully slow. First Nations have had little say in how their waters are, or are not, protected. They have been excluded from many important decisions, as provinces operate under the view that they own the water resources within provincial boundaries, and the federal government takes a hands-off approach. The demands for access to waters that First Nations depend upon are intense and growing. Oil and gas, mining, ranching, farming and hydro-development all require enormous quantities of water, and each brings its own set of negative impacts to the rivers, lakes and groundwater sources that are critical to First Nations. Climate change threatens to make matters even worse. Over the last 30 years, the courts have clarified that First Nations have numerous rights to land and resources, including the right to be involved in decision-making. This book is a call to respect the water rights of First Nations, and through this create a new water ethic in Canada and beyond.

Von der Porten, S., & De Loë, R. C. (2013). Collaborative approaches to governance for water and Indigenous peoples: A case study from British Columbia, Canada. Geoforum, 50, 149–160. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2013.09.001

Indigenous peoples around the world hold views about identity, self-determination and nationhood that often are distinct from those of governments and others involved in environmental governance. Conflicts and tensions often result when these incompatible perspectives clash. This problem is evident in the context of collaborative approaches to environmental problem solving, which often are grounded in the assumption that Indigenous peoples simply are one of many stakeholders; this perspective is fundamentally incompatible with the concept of Indigenous peoples as existing within self-determining nations. Using an empirical case of collaborative governance for water in the province of British Columbia, Canada, this paper explores the extent to which collaborative practices reflect Indigenous concerns and perspectives. In the cases examined, collaborative practices tended not to recognize or account for concepts related to Indigenous self-determination and nationhood in ways that were accepted by affected First Nations people. We conclude with suggestions for ways in which the gap between collaborative practice and Indigenous perspectives can be addressed. 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Whyte, K. P. (2015). Is it Colonial Déjà Vu? Indigenous Peoples and Climate Injustice. In Joni Adamson, Michael Davis, & Hsinya Huang (Eds.), Humanities for the Environment: Integrating Knowledges, Forging New Constellations of Practice (pp. 1–16). Earthscan Publications. Retrieved from https://static1.squarespace.com/static/55c251dfe4b0ad74ccf25537/t/5830ca4ef7e0ab3a3c8af727/1479592529139/Colonial+Deja+Vu%2C+IP+Climate+Justice+11-19-16.pdf

Indigenous peoples are emerging as among the most audible voices in the global climate justice movement. As I will show in this chapter, climate injustice is a recent episode of a cyclical history of colonialism inflicting anthropogenic (human-caused) environmental change on Indigenous peoples (Wildcat). Indigenous peoples face climate risks largely because of how colonialism, in conjunction with capitalist economics, shapes the geographic spaces they live in and their socio-economic conditions. In the U.S. settler colonial context, which I focus on in this chapter, settler colonial laws, policies and programs are ‘both’ a significant factor in opening up Indigenous territories for carbon-intensive economic activities and, at the same time, a significant factor in why Indigenous peoples face heightened climate risks. Climate injustice, for Indigenous peoples, is less about the spectre of a new future and more like the experience of déjà vu

Wilson, N. J. (2014). Indigenous water governance: Insights from the hydrosocial relations of the Koyukon Athabascan village of Ruby, Alaska. Geoforum, 57, 1–11. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2014.08.005

Water is fundamental to Indigenous ways of life. Specific Indigenous peoples maintain distinct and multifaceted sociocultural relations to water, yet the legacy of colonialism globally means that communities around the world face similar challenges to protecting these relations. The role of Indigenous peoples and their sociocultural relations to water is currently under acknowledged in the water governance literature. Through a case study of the Koyukon Athabascan people of Ruby, Alaska, this article examines how the explicit analysis of hydro-social relations facilitates conceptualization of Indigenous water governance. Participatory research methods involving semi-structured interviews and traditional use mapping were employed to document the hydro-social relations of the people of Ruby, which water law and policy in Alaska does not adequately recognize. This study contributes to the literature in two ways. First, an engagement with the hydro-social literature makes explicit the distinct sociocultural relations to water maintained by all human communities and the existence of these multiple normative orders within the same political space, where the hydro-social relations of some populations are privileged over others. Second, it contributes to the conceptualization of Indigenous water governance by exploring the extent to which Indigenous peoples in the Yukon River Basin, including the people of Ruby, are engaging in multiple strategies to assert their sovereignty. These strategies include recognition-based approaches such as litigation to gain legal recognition of Indigenous water rights and Indigenous alternatives without reference to state recognition such as the development of community-based water monitoring programs. 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Water Culture and Values

Anderson, K., Clow, B., & Haworth Brockman, M. (2013). Carriers of water: Aboriginal women’s experiences, relationships, and reflections. Journal of Cleaner Production, 60, 11–17. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2011.10.023

In many Aboriginal cultures, women have a special and distinct relationship to water, which is rooted in cultural beliefs, social practices and economic contexts as well as in women's role in reproduction. Yet Aboriginal women have often been excluded from discussions and decisions about water management, with the result that their knowledge has not necessarily been brought to bear on the development of protocols and practices. Including these women's views is critical if we hope to understand the spiritual, social, and cultural meanings as well as the economic and political importance of water quality and security. These perspectives, in turn, are essential for the formulation of appropriate and sustainable water management. In 2010, we conducted interviews with 11 Aboriginal women elders from across Canada and, through grounded theoretical analysis, gained insight into their complex understandings of and relationships to water. Many participants drew attention to the spiritual significance of water, including their understanding of water as sentient with different levels of power and purpose. They also stressed that disrespect for or carelessness in managing the relationship with water affects spiritual and community well-being as well as physical health. As we work to address issues of water quality and security, we need to be mindful of the complex meanings and purposes of water in the lives of Aboriginal women and their communities. We also need to recognize that the knowledge of Aboriginal women can contribute to improved water management policies and practices. 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Bell, C., & Napoleon, V. (2009). First Nations Cultural Heritage and Law: Case Studies, Voices, and Perspectives. Vancouver: UBC Press. Retrieved from https://books.google.ca/books?id=avKUsA40Q0QC&source=gbs_navlinks_s

First Nations Cultural Heritage and Law explores First Nations perspectives on cultural heritage and issues of reform within and beyond Western law. Written in collaboration with First Nation partners, it contains seven case studies featuring indigenous concepts, legal orders, and encounters with legislation and negotiations; a national review essay; three chapters reflecting on major themes; and a self-reflective critique on the challenges of collaborative and intercultural research. Although the volume draws on specific First Nation experiences, it covers a wide range of topics of concern to Inuit, Metis, and other indigenous peoples.

Christian, D., & Wong, R. (2017). downstream: reimagining water. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Retrieved from https://www.wlupress.wlu.ca/Books/D/downstream

downstream: reimagining water brings together artists, writers, scientists, scholars, environmentalists, and activists who understand that our shared human need for clean water is crucial to building peace and good relationships with one another and the planet. This book explores the key roles that culture, arts, and the humanities play in supporting healthy water-based ecology and provides local, global, and Indigenous perspectives on water that help to guide our societies in a time of global warming. The contributions range from practical to visionary, and each of the four sections closes with a poem to encourage personal freedom along with collective care.

This book contributes to the formation of an intergenerational, culturally inclusive, participatory water ethic. Such an ethic arises from intellectual courage, spiritual responsibilities, practical knowledge, and deep appreciation for human dependence on water for a meaningful quality of life. Downstream illuminates how water teaches us interdependence with other humans and living creatures, both near and far.

Cullon, D. (2013). A View From The Watchman’s Pole: Salmon, Animism and the Kwakwaka’wakw Summer Ceremonial. BC Studies, 9(177), 255. Retrieved from http://ojs.library.ubc.ca/index.php/bcstudies/article/viewFile/182922/183965

In the literature, much emphasis has been placed on the Kwakwaka’wakw winter ceremonial, with its lore of cannibalism, the taming of a man gone wild, intriguing dances; vibrant and intricately carved masks, art, drama, and interaction with the spirit world (e.g., Goldman 1975; Locher 1932; McDowell 1997; Walens 1980, 1981).Many of these writings attempt to reinterpret the Boas and Boas-Hunt materials in an effort to gain an understanding of the winter ceremonial’s fundamental meaning (Berman 2000, 53). This meaning remained elusive to Boas, and, in the end, he believed the winter ceremonial was a religious act that sanctified the tribe (Berman 2000, 54; Boas 1966, 172). According to Berman (2000, 54), attempts at reinterpretation have been plagued by a lack of understanding of the texts and language and, too often, a focus on cannibalism, which, she argues, results in a misinterpretation of the religious nature of the ceremonial. The exception may be Berman’s article in which the winter ceremonial is considered in terms of the cultural practice “through which nineteenth-century 10 bc studies Kwakwaka’wakw expressed their material and spiritual relationship with fish, especially salmon” (2000, 55). But what of the summer season, which had its own ceremonialism (59)? In all cases, much less emphasis has been placed on this ceremonial, its meaning among nineteenth-century Kwakwaka’wakw people, and how the Kwakwaka’wakw spirituality of the summer ceremonial was sensitive to salmon ecology and helped to sustain the ongoing salmon resource. The effect of my argument relies heavily on my definition of “ceremonial.” Here I use the definition from Cambridge Dictionaries Online (2011), which defines ceremonial as “a set of formal acts, often fixed and traditional, performed on important social or religious occasions.”

Dale, G., Mathai, M. V., & Puppim, de Oliveira, J. A. (2016). Green Growth: Ideology, Political Economy and the Alternatives. London: Zed Books Limited. Retrieved from https://books.google.ca/books/about/Green_Growth.html?id=oiVkrgEACAAJ&source=kp_cover&redir_esc=y

The discourse of “green growth” has recently gained ground in environmental governance deliberations and policy proposals. It is presented as a fresh and innovative agenda centered on the deployment of engineering sophistication, managerial acumen, and market mechanisms to redress the environmental and social derelictions of the existing development model. But the green growth project is deeply inadequate, whether assessed against criteria of social justice or the achievement of sustainable economic life upon a materially finite planet. This volume outlines three main lines of critique. First, it traces the development of the green growth discourse qua ideology. It asks: what explains modern society’s investment in it, why has it emerged as a master concept in the contemporary conjuncture, and what social forces does it serve? Second, it unpicks and explains the contradictions within a series of prominent green growth projects. Finally, it weighs up the merits and demerits of alternative strategies and policies, asking the vital question: “If not green growth, then what?”

Facon, S., & Aitken, H. (2010). Watershed+ Manual. The City of Calgary - Publicart Program. Calgary. Retrieved from http://www.calgary.ca/_layouts/cocis/DirectDownload.aspx?target=http%3A//www.calgary.ca/CSPS/Recreation/Documents/Public-art/Watershed-manual.pdf&noredirect=1&sf=1

This Manual is the basis for the WATERSHED+ program. WATERSHED+ was initially shaped over 2009/10 by a team of experts from diverse disciplines brought together specially for this project. This collaborative approach involved first, establishing and then, building upon the overlapping knowledge and expertise of arts practice, architecture, design, geography and water engineering – within the unique context provided by the Calgary watershed. As part of the UEP Public Art Plan, WATERSHED+ proposes a long term plan to build an emotional connection between Calgary’s citizens and their watershed by placing creativity at the heart of projects and initiatives related to Calgary’s watershed.

Furst, P. T. (1989). The Water of Life - Symbolism and Natural-History on the Northwest Coast. Dialectical Anthropology14(2), 95–115. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF01959979?LI=true

What is this wonder-working Water that figures as life-restorer in myths and family histories collected around the turn of the century by Franz Boas and his Kwakiutl collaborator, George Hunt, and by the photographer Edward S. Curtis?

Surprisingly, perhaps, at least to those reared in Western cultures, it is urine, sometimes female, sometimes male, unpleasant bodily waste to Westerners, but to the Kwakiutl a valuable resource that was enshrined in myth, preserved in cedarwood boxes, and employed for a variety of practical, prophylactic, therapeutic and magical purposes. As a rule, only when its odor became offensive was the urine discarded.

Furst (1989) also records that the ‘water of life’ in the mythology of the Kwakiutl tribes and their neighbours in British Colombia is a substance of such supernatural potency that even a few drops will suffice to wake the dead and revitalize them, or drive away monsters and spirits. It is given by supernatural beings as a gift to shamans

Hawken, P., Lovins, A., & Lovins, L. (2013). Natural capitalism: the next industrial revolution. Technology Review;(USA) (Vol. 276). Earthscan. http://doi.org/10.1002/1099-1719(200008)8:3<165::AID-SD142>3.0.CO;2-S

On its first publication 10 years ago, Natural Capitalism rocked the world of business with its innovative new approach - an approach that fused ecological integrity with business acumen using the radical concept of natural capitalism. This 10th-anniversary edition features a new Introduction by Amory B. Lovins and Paul Hawken which updates the story to include the successes of the last decade. It clearly sets out the path that we must now take to ensure the future prosperity of our civilisation and our planet.

Jackson, S. (2006). Compartmentalising Culture: the articulation and consideration of Indigenous values in water resource management. Australian Geographer, 37(1), 19–31. http://doi.org/10.1080/00049180500511947

Social values are receiving increased attention in natural resource management policy and practice, and the notion of cultural values has recently emerged, particularly in relation to water resources. Philosophers, environmental policy analysts and others with an interest in environmental valuation have critically analysed value concepts and theories. A popular focus is the commonly 'bipolar' character of value construed as either an intrinsic or utilitarian concept. This paper focuses on the treatment of Indigenous values in contemporary water resource management. The Daly River region of the Northern Territory is undergoing increased agricultural intensification. A 12 month planning exercise sought to integrate social, economic, environmental and cultural values into decisions about land use and water extraction. Separate treatment of Indigenous and non-Indigenous social values compounded the reification of Aboriginal 'cultural values' which were perceived largely within the confines of a cultural heritage paradigm. The heritage paradigm and other common influential theories of value focus on objects, entities and places at the expense of recognition and valuation of relationships, processes and connections between social groups, people and place, and people and non-human entities.

Napoleon, V. (2013). Thinking About Indigenous Legal Orders. In Dialogues on Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (pp. 229–245). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-4710-4_11

Rethinking Indigenous legal orders and law is fundamentally about rebuilding citizenship. The theory underlying this chapter is that it is possible to develop a flexible, overall legal framework that Indigenous peoples might use to express and describe their legal orders and laws so that they can be applied to present-day problems. This framework must be able to first, reflect the legal orders and laws of decentralized (i.e. non-state) Indigenous peoples, and second, allow for the diverse way that each society’s culture is reflected in their legal orders and laws. In turn, this framework will allow each society to draw on a deeper understanding of how their own legal traditions might be used to resolve contemporary conflicts. Colonial histories cannot be undone. This means that Indigenous peoples must figure out how to reconcile former decentralized legal orders and law with a centralized state and legal system. Any process of reconciliation must include political deliberation on the part of an informed and involved Indigenous citizenry.

Napoleon, V., & Overstall, R. (2007). Indigenous Laws: Some Issues, Considerations and Experiences (No. 281). Aboriginal Policy Research Consortium International (APRCi) (Vol. 2). Retrieved from http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/aprci

Aboriginal law does not only exist somewhere in untouched cultures of the past. We contend that legal principles and obligations of aboriginal law are reflected in the actual work, structures, and life of present day aboriginal peoples and communities. Furthermore, in every society, legal norms and law are constantly changing. It is critical, therefore, that research strategies be designed to prevent creating static or reified constructs of aboriginal legal orders and law. Given this, we suggest that future research strategies include investigating past and present change processes, and whether and how aboriginal legal principles may be drawn from present-day decision-making, conflict, and relationships.

In this paper, we discuss ways to think about and research law concerning peoples’ relationship with their natural environment that are potentially more useful for non-state aboriginal peoples with decentralized political structures and authorities. To conclude the paper, we suggest several long-term strategies that aboriginal peoples might consider to research and implement their law relating to their land, resources and non-human life forms, and more broadly, their environment.

Parr, A., Zaretsky, M. (2011). New Directions in Sustainable Design. Routledge. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233761316_New_Directions_in_Sustainable_Design

Recently there has been a plethora of work published on the topic of sustainability, much of which is purely theoretical or technical in its approach. More often than not these books fail to introduce readers to the larger challenge of what thinking sustainably might entail.

Combining a series of well know authors in contemporary philosophy with established practitioners of sustainable design, this book develops a coherent theoretical framework for how theories of sustainability might engage with the growing practice of design. This book:

  • brings together new and emerging perspectives on sustainability
  • provides cohesive and jargon-free reading
  • articulates the specificity of both theory and practice, to develop a symbiotic relationship which allows the reader to understand what thinking sustainably entails.

This volume describes a variety of new ways to approach sustainable design and it equips the next generation of designers with necessary conceptual tools for thinking sustainably.

Parr, A. (2015). The Wrath of Capital: Neoliberalism and Climate Change Politics – Reflections. Geoforum, 62, 70–72. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.03.012

In this article the author responds to the criticism that The Wrath of Capital: Neoliberalism and Climate Change Politics does not provide solutions to problems the book identifies. The author argues for the importance of developing a deep understanding of how neoliberalism has become the standard against which all social, economic, cultural, and political responses to climate change are measured. She goes onto re-iterate the main thesis of The Wrath of Capital, namely that this does not constitute an effective or equitable response to the challenges climate change presents. In her view understanding and thinking are important ingredients in developing a sustainable and equitable solution to climate change.

Parr, A. (2009). Hijacking Sustainability. International (Vol. 22). MIT Press. http://doi.org/10.1093/iclqaj/22.1.183

The idea of "sustainability" has gone mainstream. Thanks to Prius-driving movie stars, it's even hip. What began as a grassroots movement to promote responsible development has become a bullet point in corporate ecobranding strategies. In Hijacking Sustainability, Adrian Parr describes how this has happened: how the goals of an environmental movement came to be mediated by corporate interests, government, and the military. Parr argues that the more popular sustainable development becomes, the more commodified it becomes; the more mainstream culture embraces the sustainability movement's concern over global warming and poverty, the more "sustainability culture" advances the profit-maximizing values of corporate capitalism. And the more issues of sustainability are aligned with those of national security, the more military values are conflated with the goals of sustainable development. Parr looks closely at five examples of the hijacking of sustainability: corporate image-greening by such companies as British Petroleum (BP) and Wal-Mart; Hollywood activism by Leonardo DiCaprio and other movie industry figures; the autonomy of communal ecovillages vs. the military-like security of gated communities; the greening of the White House (and its de-greening: Ronald Reagan famously removed solar panels installed by Jimmy Carter); and the incongruous efforts to achieve a "sustainable" army. Parr then examines key challenges to sustainability waste disposal, disaster relief and environmental refugees, slum development, and poverty. Sustainability, Parr says, has captured our imagination at a time when we are discouraged and demoralized by a failed war and general governmental incompetence; it offers an alternative narrative of the collective good—an idea now compromised and endangered by corporate, military, and government interests.

Strang, V. (2005). Common Senses: Water, Sensory Experience and the Generation of Meaning. Journal of Material Culture, 10(1), 92–120. http://doi.org/10.1177/1359183505050096

This article is concerned with the relationship between sensory experience, material realities and the creation of cross-cultural meanings. Focused on water, it offers a comparison of two, highly diverse, ethnographic examples: one an Aboriginal community living alongside the Mitchell River in Far North Queensland, and the other describing the groups inhabiting a river valley in the south of England. It considers how engagements with water are experienced and interpreted within these specific cultural contexts. Drawing on theoretical developments from studies of art and material culture, analyses of cross-cultural aesthetics, and accounts of how meanings are encoded in natural objects, it describes the formal qualities of water and human interactions with these. It suggests that two important ‘universalities’ – the particular qualities of water, and the physiological and cognitive processes that are common to all human beings – generate cross-cultural themes of meaning that persist over time and space. Thus the ethnographic analysis provides the basis for a discussion about the relationship between universal and cultural experiences, contributing to the critique of cultural relativism and suggesting a need for anthropological theory to recall its comparative foundations.

Taylor, B., & de Loë, R. C. (2012). Conceptualizations of local knowledge in collaborative environmental governance. Geoforum, 43(6), 1207–1217. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2012.03.007

A major challenge to integrating local knowledge into collaborative environmental governance processes stems from the underlying differences between positivist science and local knowledge; these differences often result in strong differences of opinion regarding which forms of knowledge are valid in environmental decision-making. Previous research on these issues has mainly focused on the attitudes of scientists towards local knowledge. Studies of the views of local and non-scientific actors regarding their own knowledge are much less common. Through a qualitative case study of water allocation planning in South Australia, we analyzed participants' conceptualizations of local knowledge and the role of local knowledge in collaborative governance. We found that participants defined local knowledge broadly across a number of dimensions and that many acknowledged variability in the nature and quality of different types of local knowledge. While most recognized the value of local knowledge in supporting technical investigations and developing policies, very few participants identified a role for local knowledge in the early stages of the collaborative process (i.e., in framing problems or establishing research protocols). Previous research has highlighted "epistemological anxiety" among scientists and resource managers toward local knowledge as a significant barrier to its effective use in environmental decision-making. This study suggests that state and local actors, and scientists and non-scientists, share similar reservations about local knowledge and highlights the need for researchers and practitioners to take into account the attitudes of all types of participants when considering how to overcome the epistemological challenges related to integrating local knowledge into collaborative management. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Zuo, A., Wheeler, S. A., Bjornlund, H., Edwards, J., & Xu, W. (2015). Exploring generational differences towards water resources and policy preferences of water re-allocation in Alberta, Canada. Water Resources Management, 29(14), 5073–5089. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-015-1105-9

It is a challenging task for policy makers to design optimal water resource management policies that accommodate increasing demand while minimizing social and environmental impacts of water extraction. We used four surveys of the general community and irrigators in Alberta's South-Saskatchewan River Basin to explore the values people assign to water and their preferences for water re-allocation policies, focusing particularly on generational differences. The findings suggest that significant generational differences exist: with the younger generation more environmentally concerned, although it favoured less government intervention in water re-allocation. Generational differences also exist regarding residential and irrigation water use values, and in policy preferences for how to protect the environment and the rights of existing water right holders (irrigators). It was also found that urban-rural context and economic dependence (farmers versus non-farmers) on water mediate generational differences in values and preferences. It is a challenging task for policy makers to design optimal water resource management policies that accommodate increasing demand while minimizing social and environmental impacts of water extraction. We used four surveys of the general community and irrigators in Alberta’s South-Saskatchewan River Basin to explore the values people assign to water and their preferences for water re-allocation policies, focusing particularly on generational differences. The findings suggest that significant generational differences exist: with the younger generation more environmentally concerned, although it favoured less government intervention in water re-allocation. Generational differences also exist regarding residential and irrigation water use values, and in policy preferences for how to protect the environment and the rights of existing water right holders (irrigators). It was also found that urban–rural context and economic dependence (farmers versus non-farmers) on water mediate generational differences in values and preferences.


Water in Western Canada

Cullon, D. (2013). A View From The Watchman’s Pole: Salmon, Animism and the Kwakwaka’wakw Summer Ceremonial. BC Studies, 9(177), 255. Retrieved from http://ojs.library.ubc.ca/index.php/bcstudies/article/viewFile/182922/183965

In the literature, much emphasis has been placed on the Kwakwaka’wakw winter ceremonial, with its lore of cannibalism, the taming of a man gone wild, intriguing dances; vibrant and intricately carved masks, art, drama, and interaction with the spirit world (e.g., Goldman 1975; Locher 1932; McDowell 1997; Walens 1980, 1981).Many of these writings attempt to reinterpret the Boas and Boas-Hunt materials in an effort to gain an understanding of the winter ceremonial’s fundamental meaning (Berman 2000, 53). This meaning remained elusive to Boas, and, in the end, he believed the winter ceremonial was a religious act that sanctified the tribe (Berman 2000, 54; Boas 1966, 172). According to Berman (2000, 54), attempts at reinterpretation have been plagued by a lack of understanding of the texts and language and, too often, a focus on cannibalism, which, she argues, results in a misinterpretation of the religious nature of the ceremonial. The exception may be Berman’s article in which the winter ceremonial is considered in terms of the cultural practice “through which nineteenth-century 10 bc studies Kwakwaka’wakw expressed their material and spiritual relationship with fish, especially salmon” (2000, 55). But what of the summer season, which had its own ceremonialism (59)? In all cases, much less emphasis has been placed on this ceremonial, its meaning among nineteenth-century Kwakwaka’wakw people, and how the Kwakwaka’wakw spirituality of the summer ceremonial was sensitive to salmon ecology and helped to sustain the ongoing salmon resource. The effect of my argument relies heavily on my definition of “ceremonial.” Here I use the definition from Cambridge Dictionaries Online (2011), which defines ceremonial as “a set of formal acts, often fixed and traditional, performed on important social or religious occasions.”

Facon, S., & Aitken, H. (2010). Watershed+ Manual. The City of Calgary - Public art Program. Calgary. Retrieved from http://www.calgary.ca/_layouts/cocis/DirectDownload.aspx?target=http%3A//www.calgary.ca/CSPS/Recreation/Documents/Public-art/Watershed-manual.pdf&noredirect=1&sf=1

This Manual is the basis for the WATERSHED+ program. WATERSHED+ was initially shaped over 2009/10 by a team of experts from diverse disciplines brought together specially for this project. This collaborative approach involved first, establishing and then, building upon the overlapping knowledge and expertise of arts practice, architecture, design, geography and water engineering – within the unique context provided by the Calgary watershed. As part of the UEP Public Art Plan, WATERSHED+ proposes a long term plan to build an emotional connection between Calgary’s citizens and their watershed by placing creativity at the heart of projects and initiatives related to Calgary’s watershed.

Furst, P. T. (1989). The Water of Life - Symbolism and Natural-History on the Northwest Coast. Dialectical Anthropology, 14(2), 95–115. Retrieved from  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF01959979?LI=true

What is this wonder-working Water that figures as life-restorer in myths and family histories collected around the turn of the century by Franz Boas and his Kwakiutl collaborator, George Hunt, and by the photographer Edward S. Curtis?

Surprisingly, perhaps, at least to those reared in Western cultures, it is urine, sometimes female, sometimes male, unpleasant bodily waste to Westerners, but to the Kwakiutl a valuable resource that was enshrined in myth, preserved in cedarwood boxes, and employed for a variety of practical, prophylactic, therapeutic and magical purposes. As a rule, only when its odor became offensive was the urine discarded.

Furst (1989) also records that the ‘water of life’ in the mythology of the Kwakiutl tribes and their neighbours in British Colombia is a substance of such supernatural potency that even a few drops will suffice to wake the dead and revitalize them, or drive away monsters and spirits. It is given by supernatural beings as a gift to shamans

Klasing, A. (2016, August 30). Why is Canada denying its indigenous peoples clean water? The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail, p. 3. Retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/why-is-canada-denying-its-indigenous-peoples-clean-water/article31599791/

Dozens of communities languish for years on the priority list analyzed by The Globe, thanks to years of unpredictable or insufficient funding for water systems. The federal government funds water budgets at a deficit, meaning that communities often do not have enough money to keep systems in good working order. Meanwhile, the quality and safety of source water has declined, with new contaminants such as personal care products and pharmaceutical waste making water more expensive to treat.

The Trudeau government has taken historic steps to resolve the crisis by increasing its water budget and promising to end long-term boil water advisories in five years. But the government data obtained by The Globe show that ending the crisis requires systemic changes to reduce risks for everyone living on reserve. The government should be collaborating with First Nations to a develop a plan for long-term and sustainable solutions with measurable targets to monitor success.

Laidlaw, D., & Passelac-Ross, M. (2014). Alberta First Nations Consultation & Accommodation Handbook (CIRL No. 44). Calgary. Retrieved from http://prism.ucalgary.ca/bitstream/1880/50216/1/ConsultationHandbookOP44.pdf

In recent years, the relationship between the Alberta government and the First Nations has become increasingly acrimonious. The media regularly report the negative reactions of First Nations communities to government policies and initiatives and their concerns with the impacts of resource development on their communities, notably their health and way of life. The multiplication of legal challenges to resource development in the province is attributed to increasing frustrations among First Nations with the lack of meaningful input into government policy and decision-making processes on land and resource development. This report explores some of the reasons for this deteriorating relationship between Alberta First Nations and the provincial government. We focus on the issue of Aboriginal consultation and accommodation, which is one of the most contentious in that relationship. Alberta first released a First Nations Consultation Policy in 2005. It was the government’s first attempt to fulfill its obligations to First Nations under the duty to consult and accommodate doctrine. On August 16, 2013, this Policy was replaced with The Government of Alberta’s Policy on Consultation with First Nations on Land and Natural Resource Management, 2013. As was the case with the 2005 Policy, the initial reactions of Alberta’s First Nations to this updated Policy have been mostly negative. The first part of the report examines the relevant legal framework of Aboriginal consultation and accommodation, at both the domestic and the international levels. The second part focuses on Alberta’s approach to consultation and discusses both the process of developing the 2013 Policy and the Policy itself. The third part of the report is a critical analysis of Alberta’s approach to Aboriginal consultation, from the formulation of the 2013 Policy to the Policy itself. It focuses on the new Aboriginal Consultation Office and reviews two legislative initiatives that directly affect the consultation process. It offers suggestions for best consultation practices, based on the First Nations’ advice to government and on a comparative analysis of consultation policies in other jurisdictions.

Laidlaw, D., & Passelac-Ross, M. (2010). Water Rights and Water Stewardship: What about Aboriginal Peoples? (Resources No. 107). Calgary. Retrieved from http://dspace.ucalgary.ca/bitstream/1880/47784/1/Resources107.pdf

The province of Alberta is currently reviewing its approach to the allocation, licensing and transfer of water rights. The government has received advice from three groups of experts established under various government initiatives. Concerned citizens have also come forward with their own recommendations, calling for an "overhaul to Alberta's water rights system, to ensure that water is secured for people and the environment ". In addition, the government has announced that it will hold public consultations on the proposed review of its water allocation and management system in the summer of 2010. One of the striking features of the reports received by government is the quasi-absence of attention paid to the issue of Aboriginal uses of, and rights to, water. First Nations are only mentioned, along with other designated groups, in one recommendation of the report submitted by the Minister's Advisory Group dealing with governance of water management and allocation. One of the reasons for this lack of attention paid to Aboriginal rights to water is Alberta's long-standing position that Aboriginal water rights have been extinguished and that the province has exclusive jurisdiction over water in the province. This position has been challenged by several First Nations in lawsuits alleging that their water rights still exist, both on and off reserve, and they should receive the benefit of constitutional protection. Aboriginal peoples also assert that they must be adequately consulted by the government on proposed reviews of the water allocation system and on ongoing land and water initiatives that impact their rights. In that respect, the government has stated that it will seek input from First Nations on water use and watershed planning initiatives through a separate "yet parallel process".

Matsui, K. (2009). Native peoples and water rights: Irrigation, dams, and the law in western Canada. McGill-Queen’s University Press. https://books.google.ca/books?id=mfIL0uCAkN4C&lpg=PP1&dq=Native%20peoples%20and%20water%20rights%3A%20Irrigation%2C%20dams%2C%20and%20the%20law%20in%20western%20Canada&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=Native%20peoples%20and%20water%20rights:%20Irrigation,%20dams,%20and%20the%20law%20in%20western%20Canada&f=false

Economic developments in irrigation, agriculture, and hydroelectric power generation in western Canada at the turn of the last century challenged the way Native peoples had traditionally managed the watershed environment. Facing rapidly expanding provincial and federal power as well as private industries, Native peoples saw opportunities to protect their self-governing rights and explore reserve-based economy. Through a combination of field work and archival research, Kenichi Matsui offers an original and pioneering overview of the evolution of water law and agricultural policies in the Canadian west. By incorporating the history of water law philosophies, water development technologies, agricultural policies, and cross-cultural theories, Matsui constructs an interdisciplinary analysis of how both Native peoples and non-native stakeholders struggled for better rights and livelihood through litigation, political campaigns, and direct actions. The dramatic stories of early cultural, legal, and political conflict in interior British Columbia and Alberta featured in Native Peoples and Water Rights enrich our understanding of current Native rights disputes throughout North America. © McGill-Queen's University Press 2009.

Morris, M., & de Loë R. C. (2016). Cooperative and adaptive transboundary water governance in Canada’s Mackenzie River Basin: Status and prospects. Ecology and Society, 21(1), 331–343. http://doi.org/10.5751/ES-08301-210126

Canada’s Mackenzie River Basin (MRB) is one of the largest relatively pristine ecosystems in North America. Home to indigenous peoples for millennia, the basin is also the site of increasing resource development, notably fossil fuels, hydroelectric power resources, minerals, and forests. Three provinces, three territories, the Canadian federal government, and Aboriginal governments (under Canada’s constitution, indigenous peoples are referred to as “Aboriginal”) have responsibilities for water in the basin, making the MRB a significant setting for cooperative, transboundary water governance. A framework agreement that provides broad principles and establishes a river basin organization, the MRB Board, has been in place since 1997. However, significant progress on completing bilateral agreements under the 1997 Mackenzie River Basin Transboundary Waters Master Agreement has only occurred since 2010. We considered the performance of the MRB Board relative to its coordination function, accountability, legitimacy, and overall environmental effectiveness. This allowed us to address the extent to which governance based on river basin boundaries, a bioregional approach, could contribute to adaptive governance in the MRB. Insights were based on analysis of key documents and published studies, 19 key informant interviews, and additional interactions with parties involved in basin governance. We found that the MRB Board’s composition, its lack of funding and staffing, and the unwillingness of the governments to empower it to play the role envisioned in the Master Agreement mean that as constituted, the board faces challenges in implementing a basin-wide vision. This appears to be by design. The MRB governments have instead used the bilateral agreements under the Master Agreement as the primary mechanism through which transboundary governance will occur. A commitment to coordinating across the bilateral agreements is needed to enhance the prospects for adaptive governance in the basin.

Napoleon, V., & Friedland, H. (2015). An Inside Job: Engaging with Indigenous Legal Traditions through Stories. McGill Law Journal, 61. Retrieved from http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/mcgil61&id=768&div=28&collection=journals

There has been a growing momentum toward a greater recognition and explicit use of Indigenous laws in the past several years. According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report, the revitalization and recognition of Indigenous laws are essential to reconciliation in Canada. How, then, do we go about doing this? In this article, we introduce one method, which we believe has great potential for working respectfully and productively with Indigenous laws today. We engage with Indigenous legal traditions by carefully and consciously applying adapted common law tools, such as legal analysis and synthesis, to existing and often publicly available Indigenous resources: stories, narratives, and oral histories. By bringing common pedagogical approaches from many Indigenous legal traditions together with standard common law legal education, we hope to help people learn Indigenous laws from an internal point of view. We share experiences that reveal that this method holds great potential as a pedagogical bridge “into” respectful engagement with Indigenous laws and legal thought, within and across Indigenous, academic, and professional communities. In conclusion, we argue that, while this method is a useful tool, it is not intended to supplant existing learning and teaching methods, but rather to supplement them. In practice, we have seen that this method can be complementary to learning deeply through other means. There are many methods to engage with Indigenous laws, and there needs to be critical reflection and conversations about them all.

Paisley, R., McKinney, M., & Stenovec, M. (2015). A Sacred Responsibility: Governing the Use of Water and Related Resources in the International Columbia Basin Through the Prism of Tribes and First Nations. Public Land & Resources Law Review, 37(1), 196. Retrieved from http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca/ehost/detail/detail?sid=66b17aaa-c740-4afb-80a5-72deaaf41dc7%40sessionmgr4006&vid=0&hid=4206&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3D%3D#AN=115738145&db=eih

The article focuses on history and ongoing role of tribes and First Nations in governing the use of land and water resources in the Columbia Basin. It mentions that the legal framework that defines the role of indigenous people in international law, treaties, and transboundary water governance. It also mentions that implementation of governance arrangements for international waters.

Von der Porten, S., & De Loë, R. C. (2013). Collaborative approaches to governance for water and Indigenous peoples: A case study from British Columbia, Canada. Geoforum, 50, 149–160. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2013.09.001

Indigenous peoples around the world hold views about identity, self-determination and nationhood that often are distinct from those of governments and others involved in environmental governance. Conflicts and tensions often result when these incompatible perspectives clash. This problem is evident in the context of collaborative approaches to environmental problem solving, which often are grounded in the assumption that Indigenous peoples simply are one of many stakeholders; this perspective is fundamentally incompatible with the concept of Indigenous peoples as existing within self-determining nations. Using an empirical case of collaborative governance for water in the province of British Columbia, Canada, this paper explores the extent to which collaborative practices reflect Indigenous concerns and perspectives. In the cases examined, collaborative practices tended not to recognize or account for concepts related to Indigenous self-determination and nationhood in ways that were accepted by affected First Nations people. We conclude with suggestions for ways in which the gap between collaborative practice and Indigenous perspectives can be addressed. 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Wilson, N. J. (2014). Indigenous water governance: Insights from the hydrosocial relations of the Koyukon Athabascan village of Ruby, Alaska. Geoforum, 57, 1–11. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2014.08.005

Water is fundamental to Indigenous ways of life. Specific Indigenous peoples maintain distinct and multifaceted sociocultural relations to water, yet the legacy of colonialism globally means that communities around the world face similar challenges to protecting these relations. The role of Indigenous peoples and their sociocultural relations to water is currently under acknowledged in the water governance literature. Through a case study of the Koyukon Athabascan people of Ruby, Alaska, this article examines how the explicit analysis of hydro-social relations facilitates conceptualization of Indigenous water governance. Participatory research methods involving semi-structured interviews and traditional use mapping were employed to document the hydro-social relations of the people of Ruby, which water law and policy in Alaska does not adequately recognize. This study contributes to the literature in two ways. First, an engagement with the hydro-social literature makes explicit the distinct sociocultural relations to water maintained by all human communities and the existence of these multiple normative orders within the same political space, where the hydro-social relations of some populations are privileged over others. Second, it contributes to the conceptualization of Indigenous water governance by exploring the extent to which Indigenous peoples in the Yukon River Basin, including the people of Ruby, are engaging in multiple strategies to assert their sovereignty. These strategies include recognition-based approaches such as litigation to gain legal recognition of Indigenous water rights and Indigenous alternatives without reference to state recognition such as the development of community-based water monitoring programs. 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Zuo, A., Wheeler, S. A., Bjornlund, H., Edwards, J., & Xu, W. (2015). Exploring generational differences towards water resources and policy preferences of water re-allocation in Alberta, Canada. Water Resources Management, 29(14), 5073–5089. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-015-1105-9

It is a challenging task for policy makers to design optimal water resource management policies that accommodate increasing demand while minimizing social and environmental impacts of water extraction. We used four surveys of the general community and irrigators in Alberta's South-Saskatchewan River Basin to explore the values people assign to water and their preferences for water re-allocation policies, focusing particularly on generational differences. The findings suggest that significant generational differences exist: with the younger generation more environmentally concerned, although it favoured less government intervention in water re-allocation. Generational differences also exist regarding residential and irrigation water use values, and in policy preferences for how to protect the environment and the rights of existing water right holders (irrigators). It was also found that urban-rural context and economic dependence (farmers versus non-farmers) on water mediate generational differences in values and preferences.

It is a challenging task for policy makers to design optimal water resource management policies that accommodate increasing demand while minimizing social and environmental impacts of water extraction. We used four surveys of the general community and irrigators in Alberta’s South-Saskatchewan River Basin to explore the values people assign to water and their preferences for water re-allocation policies, focusing particularly on generational differences. The findings suggest that significant generational differences exist: with the younger generation more environmentally concerned, although it favoured less government intervention in water re-allocation. Generational differences also exist regarding residential and irrigation water use values, and in policy preferences for how to protect the environment and the rights of existing water right holders (irrigators). It was also found that urban–rural context and economic dependence (farmers versus non-farmers) on water mediate generational differences in values and preferences.


Indigenous Perspectives on Water

Anderson, K., Clow, B., & Haworth Brockman, M. (2013). Carriers of water: Aboriginal women’s experiences, relationships, and reflections. Journal of Cleaner Production, 60, 11–17. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2011.10.023

In many Aboriginal cultures, women have a special and distinct relationship to water, which is rooted in cultural beliefs, social practices and economic contexts as well as in women's role in reproduction. Yet Aboriginal women have often been excluded from discussions and decisions about water management, with the result that their knowledge has not necessarily been brought to bear on the development of protocols and practices. Including these women's views is critical if we hope to understand the spiritual, social, and cultural meanings as well as the economic and political importance of water quality and security. These perspectives, in turn, are essential for the formulation of appropriate and sustainable water management. In 2010, we conducted interviews with 11 Aboriginal women elders from across Canada and, through grounded theoretical analysis, gained insight into their complex understandings of and relationships to water. Many participants drew attention to the spiritual significance of water, including their understanding of water as sentient with different levels of power and purpose. They also stressed that disrespect for or carelessness in managing the relationship with water affects spiritual and community well-being as well as physical health. As we work to address issues of water quality and security, we need to be mindful of the complex meanings and purposes of water in the lives of Aboriginal women and their communities. We also need to recognize that the knowledge of Aboriginal women can contribute to improved water management policies and practices. 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Bell, C., & Napoleon, V. (2009). First Nations Cultural Heritage and Law: Case Studies, Voices, and Perspectives. Vancouver: UBC Press. Retrieved from https://books.google.ca/books?id=avKUsA40Q0QC&source=gbs_navlinks_s

First Nations Cultural Heritage and Law explores First Nations perspectives on cultural heritage and issues of reform within and beyond Western law. Written in collaboration with First Nation partners, it contains seven case studies featuring indigenous concepts, legal orders, and encounters with legislation and negotiations; a national review essay; three chapters reflecting on major themes; and a self-reflective critique on the challenges of collaborative and intercultural research. Although the volume draws on specific First Nation experiences, it covers a wide range of topics of concern to Inuit, Metis, and other indigenous peoples.

 

Christian, D., & Wong, R. (2017). downstream: reimagining water. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Retrieved from https://www.wlupress.wlu.ca/Books/D/downstream

 

downstream: reimagining water brings together artists, writers, scientists, scholars, environmentalists, and activists who understand that our shared human need for clean water is crucial to building peace and good relationships with one another and the planet. This book explores the key roles that culture, arts, and the humanities play in supporting healthy water-based ecology and provides local, global, and Indigenous perspectives on water that help to guide our societies in a time of global warming. The contributions range from practical to visionary, and each of the four sections closes with a poem to encourage personal freedom along with collective care.

 

This book contributes to the formation of an intergenerational, culturally inclusive, participatory water ethic. Such an ethic arises from intellectual courage, spiritual responsibilities, practical knowledge, and deep appreciation for human dependence on water for a meaningful quality of life. Downstream illuminates how water teaches us interdependence with other humans and living creatures, both near and far.

Cullon, D. (2013). A View From The Watchman’s Pole: Salmon, Animism and the Kwakwaka’wakw Summer Ceremonial. BC Studies, 9(177), 255. Retrieved from http://ojs.library.ubc.ca/index.php/bcstudies/article/viewFile/182922/183965

In the literature, much emphasis has been placed on the Kwakwaka’wakw winter ceremonial, with its lore of cannibalism, the taming of a man gone wild, intriguing dances; vibrant and intricately carved masks, art, drama, and interaction with the spirit world (e.g., Goldman 1975; Locher 1932; McDowell 1997; Walens 1980, 1981).Many of these writings attempt to reinterpret the Boas and Boas-Hunt materials in an effort to gain an understanding of the winter ceremonial’s fundamental meaning (Berman 2000, 53). This meaning remained elusive to Boas, and, in the end, he believed the winter ceremonial was a religious act that sanctified the tribe (Berman 2000, 54; Boas 1966, 172). According to Berman (2000, 54), attempts at reinterpretation have been plagued by a lack of understanding of the texts and language and, too often, a focus on cannibalism, which, she argues, results in a misinterpretation of the religious nature of the ceremonial. The exception may be Berman’s article in which the winter ceremonial is considered in terms of the cultural practice “through which nineteenth-century 10 bc studies Kwakwaka’wakw expressed their material and spiritual relationship with fish, especially salmon” (2000, 55). But what of the summer season, which had its own ceremonialism (59)? In all cases, much less emphasis has been placed on this ceremonial, its meaning among nineteenth-century Kwakwaka’wakw people, and how the Kwakwaka’wakw spirituality of the summer ceremonial was sensitive to salmon ecology and helped to sustain the ongoing salmon resource. The effect of my argument relies heavily on my definition of “ceremonial.” Here I use the definition from Cambridge Dictionaries Online (2011), which defines ceremonial as “a set of formal acts, often fixed and traditional, performed on important social or religious occasions.”

 Dale, G., Mathai, M. V., & Puppim, de Oliveira, J. A. (2016). Green Growth: Ideology, Political Economy and the Alternatives. London: Zed Books Limited. Retrieved from https://books.google.ca/books/about/Green_Growth.html?id=oiVkrgEACAAJ&source=kp_cover&redir_esc=y

The discourse of “green growth” has recently gained ground in environmental governance deliberations and policy proposals. It is presented as a fresh and innovative agenda centered on the deployment of engineering sophistication, managerial acumen, and market mechanisms to redress the environmental and social derelictions of the existing development model. But the green growth project is deeply inadequate, whether assessed against criteria of social justice or the achievement of sustainable economic life upon a materially finite planet. This volume outlines three main lines of critique. First, it traces the development of the green growth discourse qua ideology. It asks: what explains modern society’s investment in it, why has it emerged as a master concept in the contemporary conjuncture, and what social forces does it serve? Second, it unpicks and explains the contradictions within a series of prominent green growth projects. Finally, it weighs up the merits and demerits of alternative strategies and policies, asking the vital question: “If not green growth, then what?”

Furst, P. T. (1989). The Water of Life - Symbolism and Natural-History on the Northwest Coast. Dialectical Anthropology, 14(2), 95–115. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF01959979?LI=true

What is this wonder-working Water that figures as life-restorer in myths and family histories collected around the turn of the century by Franz Boas and his Kwakiutl collaborator, George Hunt, and by the photographer Edward S. Curtis?

Surprisingly, perhaps, at least to those reared in Western cultures, it is urine, sometimes female, sometimes male, unpleasant bodily waste to Westerners, but to the Kwakiutl a valuable resource that was enshrined in myth, preserved in cedarwood boxes, and employed for a variety of practical, prophylactic, therapeutic and magical purposes. As a rule, only when its odor became offensive was the urine discarded.

Furst (1989) also records that the ‘water of life’ in the mythology of the Kwakiutl tribes and their neighbours in British Colombia is a substance of such supernatural potency that even a few drops will suffice to wake the dead and revitalize them, or drive away monsters and spirits. It is given by supernatural beings as a gift to shamans

Jackson, S. (2006). Compartmentalising Culture: the articulation and consideration of Indigenous values in water resource management. Australian Geographer, 37(1), 19–31. http://doi.org/10.1080/00049180500511947

Social values are receiving increased attention in natural resource management policy and practice, and the notion of cultural values has recently emerged, particularly in relation to water resources. Philosophers, environmental policy analysts and others with an interest in environmental valuation have critically analysed value concepts and theories. A popular focus is the commonly 'bipolar' character of value construed as either an intrinsic or utilitarian concept. This paper focuses on the treatment of Indigenous values in contemporary water resource management. The Daly River region of the Northern Territory is undergoing increased agricultural intensification. A 12 month planning exercise sought to integrate social, economic, environmental and cultural values into decisions about land use and water extraction. Separate treatment of Indigenous and non-Indigenous social values compounded the reification of Aboriginal 'cultural values' which were perceived largely within the confines of a cultural heritage paradigm. The heritage paradigm and other common influential theories of value focus on objects, entities and places at the expense of recognition and valuation of relationships, processes and connections between social groups, people and place, and people and non-human entities.

Morris, M., & de Loë R. C. (2016). Cooperative and adaptive transboundary water governance in Canada’s Mackenzie River Basin: Status and prospects. Ecology and Society, 21(1), 331–343. http://doi.org/10.5751/ES-08301-210126

Canada’s Mackenzie River Basin (MRB) is one of the largest relatively pristine ecosystems in North America. Home to indigenous peoples for millennia, the basin is also the site of increasing resource development, notably fossil fuels, hydroelectric power resources, minerals, and forests. Three provinces, three territories, the Canadian federal government, and Aboriginal governments (under Canada’s constitution, indigenous peoples are referred to as “Aboriginal”) have responsibilities for water in the basin, making the MRB a significant setting for cooperative, transboundary water governance. A framework agreement that provides broad principles and establishes a river basin organization, the MRB Board, has been in place since 1997. However, significant progress on completing bilateral agreements under the 1997 Mackenzie River Basin Transboundary Waters Master Agreement has only occurred since 2010. We considered the performance of the MRB Board relative to its coordination function, accountability, legitimacy, and overall environmental effectiveness. This allowed us to address the extent to which governance based on river basin boundaries, a bioregional approach, could contribute to adaptive governance in the MRB. Insights were based on analysis of key documents and published studies, 19 key informant interviews, and additional interactions with parties involved in basin governance. We found that the MRB Board’s composition, its lack of funding and staffing, and the unwillingness of the governments to empower it to play the role envisioned in the Master Agreement mean that as constituted, the board faces challenges in implementing a basin-wide vision. This appears to be by design. The MRB governments have instead used the bilateral agreements under the Master Agreement as the primary mechanism through which transboundary governance will occur. A commitment to coordinating across the bilateral agreements is needed to enhance the prospects for adaptive governance in the basin.

Napoleon, V. (2013). Thinking About Indigenous Legal Orders. In Dialogues on Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (pp. 229–245). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-4710-4_11

Rethinking Indigenous legal orders and law is fundamentally about rebuilding citizenship. The theory underlying this chapter is that it is possible to develop a flexible, overall legal framework that Indigenous peoples might use to express and describe their legal orders and laws so that they can be applied to present-day problems. This framework must be able to first, reflect the legal orders and laws of decentralized (i.e. non-state) Indigenous peoples, and second, allow for the diverse way that each society’s culture is reflected in their legal orders and laws. In turn, this framework will allow each society to draw on a deeper understanding of how their own legal traditions might be used to resolve contemporary conflicts. Colonial histories cannot be undone. This means that Indigenous peoples must figure out how to reconcile former decentralized legal orders and law with a centralized state and legal system. Any process of reconciliation must include political deliberation on the part of an informed and involved Indigenous citizenry.

Napoleon, V., & Friedland, H. (2015). An Inside Job: Engaging with Indigenous Legal Traditions through Stories. McGill Law Journal, 61. Retrieved from http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/mcgil61&id=768&div=28&collection=journals

There has been a growing momentum toward a greater recognition and explicit use of Indigenous laws in the past several years. According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report, the revitalization and recognition of Indigenous laws are essential to reconciliation in Canada. How, then, do we go about doing this? In this article, we introduce one method, which we believe has great potential for working respectfully and productively with Indigenous laws today. We engage with Indigenous legal traditions by carefully and consciously applying adapted common law tools, such as legal analysis and synthesis, to existing and often publicly available Indigenous resources: stories, narratives, and oral histories. By bringing common pedagogical approaches from many Indigenous legal traditions together with standard common law legal education, we hope to help people learn Indigenous laws from an internal point of view. We share experiences that reveal that this method holds great potential as a pedagogical bridge “into” respectful engagement with Indigenous laws and legal thought, within and across Indigenous, academic, and professional communities. In conclusion, we argue that, while this method is a useful tool, it is not intended to supplant existing learning and teaching methods, but rather to supplement them. In practice, we have seen that this method can be complementary to learning deeply through other means. There are many methods to engage with Indigenous laws, and there needs to be critical reflection and conversations about them all.

Napoleon, V., & Overstall, R. (2007). Indigenous Laws: Some Issues, Considerations and Experiences (No. 281). Aboriginal Policy Research Consortium International (APRCi) (Vol. 2). Retrieved from http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/aprci

Aboriginal law does not only exist somewhere in untouched cultures of the past. We contend that legal principles and obligations of aboriginal law are reflected in the actual work, structures, and life of present day aboriginal peoples and communities. Furthermore, in every society, legal norms and law are constantly changing. It is critical, therefore, that research strategies be designed to prevent creating static or reified constructs of aboriginal legal orders and law. Given this, we suggest that future research strategies include investigating past and present change processes, and whether and how aboriginal legal principles may be drawn from present-day decision-making, conflict, and relationships.

In this paper, we discuss ways to think about and research law concerning peoples’ relationship with their natural environment that are potentially more useful for non-state aboriginal peoples with decentralized political structures and authorities. To conclude the paper, we suggest several long-term strategies that aboriginal peoples might consider to research and implement their law relating to their land, resources and non-human life forms, and more broadly, their environment.

Paisley, R., McKinney, M., & Stenovec, M. (2015). A Sacred Responsibility: Governing the Use of Water and Related Resources in the International Columbia Basin Through the Prism of Tribes and First Nations. Public Land & Resources Law Review, 37(1), 196. Retrieved from http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca/ehost/detail/detail?sid=66b17aaa-c740-4afb-80a5-72deaaf41dc7%40sessionmgr4006&vid=0&hid=4206&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3D%3D#AN=115738145&db=eih

The article focuses on history and ongoing role of tribes and First Nations in governing the use of land and water resources in the Columbia Basin. It mentions that the legal framework that defines the role of indigenous people in international law, treaties, and transboundary water governance. It also mentions that implementation of governance arrangements for international waters.

Taylor, B., & de Loë, R. C. (2012). Conceptualizations of local knowledge in collaborative environmental governance. Geoforum, 43(6), 1207–1217. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2012.03.007

A major challenge to integrating local knowledge into collaborative environmental governance processes stems from the underlying differences between positivist science and local knowledge; these differences often result in strong differences of opinion regarding which forms of knowledge are valid in environmental decision-making. Previous research on these issues has mainly focused on the attitudes of scientists towards local knowledge. Studies of the views of local and non-scientific actors regarding their own knowledge are much less common. Through a qualitative case study of water allocation planning in South Australia, we analyzed participants' conceptualizations of local knowledge and the role of local knowledge in collaborative governance. We found that participants defined local knowledge broadly across a number of dimensions and that many acknowledged variability in the nature and quality of different types of local knowledge. While most recognized the value of local knowledge in supporting technical investigations and developing policies, very few participants identified a role for local knowledge in the early stages of the collaborative process (i.e., in framing problems or establishing research protocols). Previous research has highlighted "epistemological anxiety" among scientists and resource managers toward local knowledge as a significant barrier to its effective use in environmental decision-making. This study suggests that state and local actors, and scientists and non-scientists, share similar reservations about local knowledge and highlights the need for researchers and practitioners to take into account the attitudes of all types of participants when considering how to overcome the epistemological challenges related to integrating local knowledge into collaborative management. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Zuo, A., Wheeler, S. A., Bjornlund, H., Edwards, J., & Xu, W. (2015). Exploring generational differences towards water resources and policy preferences of water re-allocation in Alberta, Canada. Water Resources Management, 29(14), 5073–5089. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-015-1105-9

It is a challenging task for policy makers to design optimal water resource management policies that accommodate increasing demand while minimizing social and environmental impacts of water extraction. We used four surveys of the general community and irrigators in Alberta's South-Saskatchewan River Basin to explore the values people assign to water and their preferences for water re-allocation policies, focusing particularly on generational differences. The findings suggest that significant generational differences exist: with the younger generation more environmentally concerned, although it favoured less government intervention in water re-allocation. Generational differences also exist regarding residential and irrigation water use values, and in policy preferences for how to protect the environment and the rights of existing water right holders (irrigators). It was also found that urban-rural context and economic dependence (farmers versus non-farmers) on water mediate generational differences in values and preferences. It is a challenging task for policy makers to design optimal water resource management policies that accommodate increasing demand while minimizing social and environmental impacts of water extraction. We used four surveys of the general community and irrigators in Alberta’s South-Saskatchewan River Basin to explore the values people assign to water and their preferences for water re-allocation policies, focusing particularly on generational differences. The findings suggest that significant generational differences exist: with the younger generation more environmentally concerned, although it favoured less government intervention in water re-allocation. Generational differences also exist regarding residential and irrigation water use values, and in policy preferences for how to protect the environment and the rights of existing water right holders (irrigators). It was also found that urban–rural context and economic dependence (farmers versus non-farmers) on water mediate generational differences in values and preferences.

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