Decision making over freshwater resources is a critical issue for First Nations in British Columbia. This report is for First Nations leadership as well as lands, natural resources, and fisheries staff who are interested in learning more about First Nations-led initiatives to protect fresh water in BC.
First Nations have practiced sustainable guardianship of land and waters since time immemorial. Indigenous laws, knowledge and decision-making processes to manage and govern watersheds mean that First Nations have a critical role to play in addressing the challenges that waters in BC will face in the years ahead.
From the headwaters of the mighty Fraser, to the Cowichan River on Vancouver Island, to the Skeena River in the northwest, communities across the province are taking opportunities to make a difference, protect their fresh waters, advance rights, and rebuild and sustain cultures and ecosystems through planning, local knowledge and governance of the waters in their territories.
This report is an attempt to share some of these stories — to help celebrate success and also offer viable examples for other communities to consider as they contemplate following a similar path and approach