Decolonizing water governance through Indigenous knowledge, self-determination, and relationships with water
Co-organised by the United Nations Academic Impact Hub for SDG 6 at University of Manitoba, Himalyan Peace Foundation, Carcross/Tagish First Nation, Decolonizing Water, Future Earth
Date: March 22, 12:30-1:45pm EST
Location: Nature Hub at APELLA (450 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016, United States)
This side event will focus on the role of Indigenous Peoples in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6, “Clean water and sanitation for all.”
Indigenous Peoples are critical actors in water governance and sustainability. Globally, there is a growing acknowledgement of Indigenous rights and self-determination. For instance, this is affirmed within 46 articles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) (2007), such as article 25 which states:
Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard.
Indigenous Peoples should play a significant role in decision-making about water. Yet, these communities are underrepresented in international water policy. In this side meeting, we ask, what is needed to better engage and respect Indigenous peoples, their knowledge, and governance systems to address global water challenges? Indigenous governance, law and knowledge continue to be a major theme for decision-makers about water around the world, but Indigenous people continue to lack a voice and to be marginalized by historical and ongoing colonialism.
This side event will address the challenges of present approaches to water governance and sustainability for Indigenous peoples. It will examine the contributions of Indigenous knowledge systems as complete bodies of knowledge that include information about science, policy, law, cosmology and more. Furthermore, we will explore how best to respect Indigenous peoples and their governance systems which centre on understandings of water as a living entity.
Introduction and welcome (5 minutes) from the organizers
Claire Herbert and Nicole Wilson introduce the event and the United Nations Academic Impact Hub for Sustainable Development Goal 6 and the importance of Indigenous peoples in sustainable water governance.
Keynote Speeches (5 minutes each, Total 10 Minutes):
Aimée Craft, University Research Chair Nibi miinawaa aki inaakonigewin: Indigenous governance in relationship with land and water, University of Ottawa/Decolonizing Water, Canada
Myrle Ballard (Assistant Professor and Indigenous scholar, University of Manitoba and Director of Indigenous Science, Environment and Climate Change Canada)
Panel Discussion (30 Minutes) - Moderated by Claire Herbert, University of Manitoba
Ghoóch Tlâ (Colleen) James (Carcross/Tagish First Nation)
Taylor Galvin (University of Manitoba)
Jewel Davies (Carcross/Tagish First Nation)
Jorge Luis Atamain Guifin (Regional Organisation of Northern Amazon Indigenous Population of Peru - ORPIAN) and Pamela Giselle Katic (Future Earth/University of Greenwich)
Other panelists TBD – (Dr. Haniea Moghani, Asia Pacific Member, of the United Nations, Permanent Forum on Indigenous)
A panel of experts will discuss the role of Indigenous peoples in water governance including Water for International Cooperation. They will discuss how the Indigenous peoples’ strengths and the challenges they face can help the broader water community in achieving SDG 6.
Q&A (15 min)
Call to action and outcomes (10 min)
Conclusion and next steps (5 minutes)
Indigenous peoples from around the world,
Government officials from various countries,
United Nations representatives,
Non-government organizations working on sustainable water management issues,
Private sector representatives working on sustainable water management technology and practices.
The side event aims to provide a platform for Indigenous peoples from around the world to share their perspectives and experiences on sustainable water governance. It will offer innovative solutions to water issues and promote collaboration among Indigenous peoples, non-Indigenous governments, and the United Nations on sustainable water management issues. The agenda includes keynote speeches, a panel discussion, and a discussion to formulate proposals for commitments to advance transformative change in water governance.