Indigenous peoples have maintained that sovereignty over their waters is a priority for them. Yet, most water governance systems across Canada exclude Indigenous peoples from decision-making processes over the waters that sustain them. There is growing recognition across water practitioners and watershed users that this needs to change. In BC, the modernization of the province's water laws through the introduction of the Water Sustainability Act has enabled a suite of water governance tools that show potential to be leveraged to support Indigenous water governance. This paper draws on a literature review, expert interviews, and case studies to analyze how select tools in the Water Sustainability Act could be used to further Indigenous sovereignty over water. Then, it provides recommendations to the BC Government on areas of action that would enable or assist with the uptake of water governance tools by Indigenous peoples.
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Thesis advisor: Olewiler, Nancy
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