New article by R Simms and colleagues on collaborative watershed governance

Rosie Simms and colleagues recently published an article on collaborative watershed governance with First Nations in BC, based on research conducted with the Lower Similkameen Indian Band in 2013. The full text can be accessed via Geoforum:

The article draws on the research Rosie conducted for her Masters thesis, which can be accessed here.

Simms, R., Harris, L., Joe, N., and Bakker, K. (2016). Navigating the tensions in collaborative watershed governance: Water governance and indigenous communities in British Columbia, Canada. Geoforum, 73: 6-16.

First Nations in British Columbia (BC), Canada, have historically been—and largely continue to be—excluded from colonial governments’ decision-making and management frameworks for fresh water. However, in light of recent legal and legislative changes, and also changes in water governance and policy, there is growing emphasis in scholarship and among legal, policy and advocacy communities on shifting water governance away from a centralized single authority towards an approach that is watershed-based, collaborative, and involves First Nations as central to decision-making processes. Drawing on community-based research, interviews with First Nations natural resource staff and community members, and document review, the paper analyzes the tensions in collaborative water governance, by identifying First Nations’ concerns within the current water governance system and exploring how a move towards collaborative watershed governance may serve to either address, or further entrench, these concerns. This paper concludes with recommendations for collaborative water governance frameworks which are specifically focused on British Columbia, but which have relevance to broader debates over Indigenous water governance.