Water for Fish
NEW in June 2019! The Statement of Requirements for Water Governance in British Columbia According to Crown Commitments to Reconciliation was drafted by the BC First Nations Water Governance Roundtable in November 2018 with support from the First Nations Fisheries Council (FNFC) Water for Fish initiative. This Statement of Requirements provides further direction on the transformative measures required by the BC Government to fulfill reconciliation commitments and support the implementation of First Nations fresh water jurisdiction. It articulates 16 principles and is intended to offer a leverage point that First Nations can use when engaging with the BC Government on water governance and management decisions. The Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER) and FNFC also developed a Backgrounder for the Statement of Requirements to offer clarity on key questions that arise around UNDRIP and fresh water in BC.
The BC First Nations Water Governance Roundtable 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. Roundtable participants include 15 staff and leadership comprising 55 First Nations. The Roundtable is hosted by FNFC and CIER is a facilitation and implementation partner. The Roundtable participants developed a 2018/2019 Strategy with four strategic priority areas. You can also access the summary report from the first meeting here.
The FNFC launched a report entitled Protecting Water Our Way: First Nations Freshwater Governance in British Columbia in May 2018. Featuring a selection of five case stories that pull out key elements of First Nations-led water planning and governance in BC, this report is aimed at increasing the capacity, knowledge and understanding of First Nations staff and leadership.
Between 2015 and 2016, the FNFC partnered with CIER on a research initiative that explores indigenous-led freshwater planning and governance initiatives in British Columbia. Read the research report and communique.
First Nations Engagement and Consultation
The Province of British Columbia is legally obliged to consult and, at times, accommodate First Nations on land and resource decisions that could impact their Aboriginal Interests.
NEW on May 22, 2018! The Province released Draft Principles that Guide the Province of British Columbia’s Relationships with Indigenous Peoples. These Principles are intended to complement the Province’s commitment to implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The Province has developed guidance manuals for both government officials and proponents to consult First Nations.
Strategic Engagement Agreements (SEAs) are intended to set out mutually agreed on steps between the Province of BC and First Nations to engage and consult.
Reconciliation Agreements establish a framework for shared decision-making for lands and resources.
Water and Watershed Governance
NEW in May 2018! The First Nations Fisheries Council launched a new report entitled Protecting Water Our Way: First Nations Freshwater Governance in British Columbia. Featuring a selection of five case stories that pull out key elements of First Nations-led water planning and governance in British Columbia, this report is aimed at increasing the capacity, knowledge and understanding of First Nations staff and leadership.
FNFC partnered with the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER) on a research initiative that explores indigenous-led freshwater planning and governance initiatives in British Columbia. Check out the research report and communique.
The POLIS Water Sustainability Project (POLIS) is run out of the University of Victoria and has developed a number of policy papers, case studies and reports reviewing and evaluating conditions necessary for achieving a sustainable water framework:
This 2014 report by POLIS focuses on current water governance issues in BC and offers alternative approaches for BC to transform its current approach to decision-making. This 2016 report provides insights and opportunities for watershed co-governance in BC.
This webinar was hosted by POLIS and FNFC in 2014 and discusses the need for and importance of Aboriginal co-governance of water and watersheds and features former FNFC Water for Fish Project Manager Nadia Joe!
The Program on Water Governance (PoWG) is based out of the University of British Columbia and conducts inter-disciplinary research on water sustainability and governance.
Watershed Planning and Management
The Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER) has produced a series of First Nations Integrated Watershed Planning guidebooks to support Aboriginal communities develop plans to protect their lands and waters.
Fraser Basin Council (FBC) has developed a number of resources, guides and toolkits to support communities advance watershed planning and management.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has developed a comprehensive (and freely available) handbook to develop watershed plans.