Closing the gap: Drinking water governance and monitoring capacity in British Columbia First Nations communities

Water Economics, Policy and Governance Network (WEPGN)




Closing the gap: Drinking water governance and monitoring capacity in British Columbia First Nations communities


Project Description:

Access to safe drinking water is something that most Canadians take for granted. In British Columbia and across Canada, however, many First Nations communities live with inadequate drinking water systems. This is not a new phenomenon, and an awareness of the situation has long existed across a range of political, academic and policy communities. First Nations water governance processes are particularly complex, with a suite of legislation and federal institutions, as well as the broader context of self-governance important for these communities. This situation raises important questions: What are the concerns and questions raised by partner communities with respect to access to safe and reliable water? What are the possibilities and priorities for enhanced water access, monitoring, and governance envisioned in partner communities? What are the information, tools and capacity needs that communities identify to be necessary for more effective drinking water governance/management? Through attention to these questions, this research will seek to contribute to improved understandings of community-level water access/governance concerns, interactions with existing policies and programs, and First Nations’ perspectives on priorities for enhanced water access and governance in British Columbia. We are particularly interested in considering capacity building efforts to date (e.g. Circuit Rider Training Program) and learning from diverse opinions and perspectives, including those of youth in partner communities.

Researchers:

Leila Harris, Karen Bakker, & Emma Norman

Partners:

In addition to developing collaborative partnerships with First Nations organizations and communities, confirmed project partners include the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Network on Environment and Women’s Health, the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources, and Environment Canada.

Graduate Students:

Rosie Simms