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Basic Facts and Information

Rights to water have been recognized internationally to be foundational to human rights. This section provides basic facts and information about the state of human rights to water, as well as about water rights in Canada and the situation of First Nations communities, particularly in Alberta.

The first section introduces the international framework, United Nations agencies mandated with key aspects of water rights and their (relevant) reports and publications. This section includes resources from the UN Water for Life Decade, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and water related programmes of UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The second section introduces the situation in Canada and the state of compliance with international standards particularly when it comes to the rights of First Nations communities. It includes information resources from the Government of Canada (The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs of the Government of Canada, Policy Horizon) as well as from the Human Rights Watch and mainstream media reports.

The third section introduces the legal framework and contemporary efforts in Alberta regarding water issues such as the Water for Life program and Transboundary Water Agreements of the province. It also introduces the regional response to the shortcomings identified in the TRC report in Alberta, particularly through the Calgary Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee (CAUAC) received.

For more advanced information on (human) “rights to water” as well as on the subject of “rights of water” from an indigenous perspective, please consult the annotated bibliography section; there, you can find a selected range of academic and institutional publications. 

Water and International Human Rights

Water and Canadian First Nations

Water in Alberta

Water and Indigenous Activism

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