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Investing in co-governance: Exploring sustainable funding for co-governance in the Nicola watershed

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Momentum is building behind a new approach to Crown-Indigenous relations that is based on reconciliation, shared decision-making, and nation-to-nation engagement. In British Columbia’s Nicola watershed, this shift has manifested itself in the Nicola Watershed Governance Project (NWGP), an innovative pilot project that is seeking to establish watershed co-governance between the provincial government and five Indigenous Nations. A major challenge facing the NWGP is securing sustainable funding that will ensure the long-term viability of the project beyond the three-year pilot funding period. This research addresses this challenge by investigating key considerations and potential options for developing a sustainable funding model for the NWGP. Three main research methods were employed: (1) background research to identify key funding concepts and situate the NWGP in broader historical and theoretical context; (2) a jurisdictional scan to identify key learnings from other funding models; and (3) a structured analysis of potential core funding options for the NWGP. While investigating sustainable funding for the NWGP was the primary objective of this research, the results are also analyzed to draw conclusions regarding the state of watershed governance funding across the province.
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