Matawa Water Futures


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

Project Partners:

Eabametoong transparent
Webequie transparent
Constance Lake transparent
Neskantaga_FN_Logo Transparent - May 2018

Project Summary:

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.

MWF is grounded in a few core 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:

Peggy Smith, Professor Emerita, Faculty of Natural Resources Management, Lakehead University
Miguel Sioui, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University
Darren Thomas, Lecturer, Indigenous Studies, PhD candidate, Community Psychology, 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