First Nation involvement in source water protection in Manitoba

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Burt, Melanie
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First Nation involvement in source water protection (SWP) planning has been limited in Manitoba and elsewhere. The purpose of this research was to consider how First Nation communities could be further engaged in SWP planning. Qualitative data was obtained from key participant interviews and a case study examined the collaboration between the East Interlake Conservation District (CD) and Peguis and Fisher River First Nations. The data revealed that eight of the 18 CDs in Manitoba had some involvement of First Nations in watershed planning, however, that involvement was limited in scope. This study identified four main barriers to First Nation involvement: 1) the Conservation Districts Act; 2) limited funding; 3) insufficient training for First Nation watershed planners; and 4) lack of public awareness/support for watershed protection. Amending the Conservation Districts Act, allocating federal funds, improving partnerships, and expanding water education could enhance the potential of First Nation collaboration in watershed planning.
water, protection, management, planning, Aboriginal, governance