First Nations Fisheries

A United Voice for First Nations Fisheries

Water for Fish


Access to healthy freshwater habitat is critical to the continued survival of fish, and to the protection of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.

The FNFC’s Water for Fish freshwater initiative was launched in 2012 to advance objectives in the BC First Nations Fisheries Action Plan under the theme of “Safeguarding Habitat and Responding to Threats.” Through this initiative, we work to support First Nations’ engagement in freshwater governance, habitat protection and management activities. The intended impact of our Water for Fish initiative is that First Nations in British Columbia are informed, resourced, and united to actively exercise governance and jurisdiction of all fresh waters in their traditional territories.

What we have achieved so far:

  • Established the First Nations Water Network, a network of over 270 BC First Nations staff and leadership actively working to protect and manage fresh waters in their territories.
  • Host the BC First Nations Water Governance Roundtable which was established in June 2017 to advance engagement in planning, management, and governance of fresh water, and to facilitate a collective First Nations voice on fresh water.
  • Workshops, forums, and regular “Water Wednesday” webinars on freshwater planning, management and governance issues.
  • Released Protecting Water Our Way: First Nations Freshwater Governance in British Columbia, a major research report featuring five case stories that pull out key elements of First Nations-led water planning and governance in British Columbia.
  • Collaborated on a major research initiative Indigenous Watershed Initiatives and Co-Governance Arrangements: A British Columbia Systematic Review (with the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources).
  • Analysis and advice through an Aboriginal and Treaty Rights lens on engagement, impacts and opportunities of freshwater-related Crown policy and legislation, including BC’s Water Sustainability Act.
  • Meaningful collaborations with ENGO, academic, philanthropic, and Crown government partners.

See our Water for Fish Brochure here.

Current and past funders of Water for Fish include the Real Estate Foundation of BC, BC Freshwater Legacy Initiative, LUSH Charitable Giving, Sitka Foundation, Vancouver Foundation, BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, and Environment and Climate Change Canada.