Indigenous peoples, water and resource development: Tensions and intersections between Indigenous and settler strategies of water governance

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Indigenous Peoples Specialty Group, Water Resources Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM (MDT)
Room: Galvez, , Marriott, 5th Floor
Organizers: Nicole Wilson, Sibyl Diver
Chairs: Nicole Wilson


Energy and extractive projects—from hydropower dams to pipeline construction to hydraulic fracturing—threaten the land and waterways that sustain humans and the lives of all our relations. The claimed necessity of such projects has dominated policy discussions, leading to the intensification of industrial activities on landscapes and waterscapes. Responding to the realized and anticipated impacts of these projects on communities, Indigenous peoples are seeking to protect the waters within their traditional territories. From pursuing settler-state acknowledgement of Indigenous water rights and title, to engaging in Indigenous activism and protest, as well as processes of land-based learning and ceremony aimed at reviving Indigenous relationships to land and water, Indigenous peoples frequently engage in a range of strategies to assert their sovereignty, and decolonize relationships to water. These approaches to Indigenous water governance can broadly be divided into recognition or engagement with setter colonial state-based processes, and self-recognition or approaches that advance the resurgence of Indigenous relationships to water and governance without reference to settler-states. This panel engages a range of critical perspectives to advance understandings of Indigenous water governance in theory and practice.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Melpatkwa Matthew*, , Alice Cohen, Acadia University, Kate Neville, University of Toronto, Community based monitoring: finance, knowledge systems, and power 20 10:00 AM
Presenter Andrew Curley*, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, “Our Winter’s Rights!,” Decolonizing western water law in an era of indigenous resurgence 20 10:20 AM
Presenter Hekia Bodwitch*, UC Berkeley, Free-Trade Agreements and Constraints on Maori Fishing Rights in Aotearoa/New Zealand 20 10:40 AM
Presenter Sibyl Diver*, Stanford University, Self-determination, sustainability & Indigenous water governance: tribal water quality standards in the western U.S. 20 11:00 AM
Presenter Nicole Wilson*, University of British Columbia, Edda Mutter, Science Director, Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council, Jody Inkster, Northern Environmental and Conservation Sciences at University of Alberta/Yukon College, Terre Satterfield, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia, Community-Based Monitoring as a strategy of Indigenous water governance 20 11:20 AM

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