ALL OF THE WATER THAT IS IN OUR RESERVES AND THAT IS IN OUR TERRITORIES IS OURS
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AbstractThe goal of this research was to better understand the complex interactions between First Nations and colonial water governance in the province of British Columbia. In particular, we wanted to understand how colonial water governance frameworks have impacted different First Nations; the barriers and opportunities for First Nations in the existing colonial water governance system; and the potential implications of a shift towards collaborative watershed governance. This focus is particularly relevant in light of recent legal and governance changes in BC, with replacement of the century-old Water Act with the new Water Sustainability Act (WSA), and a growing emphasis on pursuing collaborative watershed governance approaches. Further, the Supreme Court of Canada has clearly established that disregarding Aboriginal rights is no longer acceptable; First Nations thus need to have a meaningful role in water governance moving forward. As the legal landscape of rights and title continues to evolve, so too do the requirements and impetus for colonial governments to engage meaningfully with First Nations in water governance and management.
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