Matawa Water Futures

Project Status: Active; Project Timeline: 2018-2021; Project Leads: Terry Mitchell & Sarah Cockerton

Matawa Water Futures (MWF) will foster the development of a water monitoring framework that advances MFN’s capacity to understand, predict, and adapt to environmental change, while responding to development pressures.

Matawa Water Futures Grounding Principles

  • Transitioning watershed governance towards incorporation of Indigenous peoples’ roles, knowledge, values, and priorities;
  • Finding new ways of braiding water science and Indigenous knowledge for water monitoring and watershed management;
  • The principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Project Background

The Matawa Water Futures project was co-developed between Matawa First Nations Management and Wilfrid Laurier University following the Matawa Chiefs Council Resolution #11-02-08-18: Watershed Stewardship Capacity Building, as a proposal to Global Water Futures.  The over 180,000 square kilometers of watersheds associated with the Matawa member First Nations homelands form an integral part of their culture and heritage and are directly linked to their sustained health and long term sustainability.  In light of this, and in light of Matawa member First Nations’ intent to lead watershed stewardship within their traditional territories, the Matawa Chiefs resolved to seek opportunities to increase capacity actively steward community watersheds.  The Matawa Chiefs further resolved that all watershed stewardship initiatives will be guided by and centred in community values, priorities and processes and would engage Elders.

Project Team

Co-Principal Investigators:

Terry Mitchell

Professor, School of International Policy and Governance, Balsillie School of International Affairs

Sarah Cockerton

Manager of Environmental Programs, Matawa First Nations Management (Four Rivers)

Indigenous Co-Investigators:

Darren Thomas

Lecturer, Indigenous Studies, PhD candidate, Community Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University

Peggy Smith

Professor Emerita, Faculty of Natural Resources Management, Lakehead University

Miguel Sioui

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University

Non-Indigenous Co-Investigators:

Alex Latta

Associate Professor, Department of Global Studies; Department of Geography and Environmental Studies; Chair, Department of Global Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University

Kelly Munkittrick

Professor of Biology; Executive Director of Cold Regions and Water Initiatives, Wilfrid Laurier University

David Pearson

Co-Director, Science Communication Program Professor, Department of Earth Sciences Living with Lakes Centre, Laurentian University

Chantal Sarrazin-Delay

Aquatic Assessment Biologist, Living with Lakes Centre, Laurentian University

Andrew Conly

Associate Professor, Departments of Geology, Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Mining & Exploration, Water Resource Science, Lakehead University

Amanda Diochon

Associate Professor, Departments of Geology, Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Mining & Exploration, Water Resource Science

Michael Rennie

Canada Research Chair in Freshwater Ecology and Fisheries, Research Fellow, IISD-Experimental Lakes Area, Assistant Professor, Departments of Biology, Biotechnology

Robert Stewart

Associate Professor, Chair, Departments of Geography & The Environment, Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Mining & Exploration, Water Resource Science

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