Event Title

Community-Based Monitoring as a strategy of Indigenous water governance

Presentation Abstract

Alterations in water have significant implications for Indigenous peoples due to complex interconnections between environment, health, livelihoods and cultural well being. Indigenous peoples often express frustration with the inability to protect their complex socio-cultural relationships to water, in contexts where colonial forms of governance shape water rights and access. Yet, in spite of jurisdictional constraints, communities continue to engage multiple decolonial strategies aimed at protecting the waters within their territories. This paper analyzes community-based monitoring as one Indigenous water governance strategy. Specifically, I examine a transboundary case study of the Indigenous Observation Network – a community-based water quality monitoring network of Canadian First Nations and Alaska Native Tribes, coordinated by the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council – in the Yukon River Basin. Analysis of semi-structured interviews with water quality samplers from across the watershed and other program partners reveal that communities value the program as it provides trusted baseline water quality data. At the same time, improvements could be made to monitor additional parameters of local concern, increase the use of data in decision-making processes and improve the sustainability of program funding.

Session Title

The Power of Place - Promoting Decolonizing Methodologies in Water Governance in the Salish Sea

Conference Track

People

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Document Type

Event

Location

2016SSEC

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Community-Based Monitoring as a strategy of Indigenous water governance

2016SSEC

Alterations in water have significant implications for Indigenous peoples due to complex interconnections between environment, health, livelihoods and cultural well being. Indigenous peoples often express frustration with the inability to protect their complex socio-cultural relationships to water, in contexts where colonial forms of governance shape water rights and access. Yet, in spite of jurisdictional constraints, communities continue to engage multiple decolonial strategies aimed at protecting the waters within their territories. This paper analyzes community-based monitoring as one Indigenous water governance strategy. Specifically, I examine a transboundary case study of the Indigenous Observation Network – a community-based water quality monitoring network of Canadian First Nations and Alaska Native Tribes, coordinated by the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council – in the Yukon River Basin. Analysis of semi-structured interviews with water quality samplers from across the watershed and other program partners reveal that communities value the program as it provides trusted baseline water quality data. At the same time, improvements could be made to monitor additional parameters of local concern, increase the use of data in decision-making processes and improve the sustainability of program funding.