Indigenous Watershed Champions Initiative

Supporting Indigenous Water Leaders

There are a growing number of Indigenous-led and co-governed watershed initiatives across BC. These initiatives are grounded in traditional knowledge and cultural values to better cultivate Indigenous leadership and respond uniquely to the watershed challenges confronting Indigenous communities and governments.

To support existing and emerging Indigenous leaders working at the heart of innovative watershed governance initiatives, the Indigenous Watershed Champions Initiative (IWCI) was developed.

Transformation Pole, Duncan
Transformation Pole, carved Harvey Alphonse and Nelson Canute of the Cowichan Tribes. Photo credit: Claire Sauvage-Mar, 2021.

Program Design

The IWCI is a pilot program that offers culturally appropriate leadership needs for effective watershed governance in BC. It offers participants:

  • a support network of mentors, Watersheds BC staff and advisors, and other water leaders and experts;
  • tailored support and training from staff and advisors for specific challenges or opportunities in their watershed governance work; and
  • connections to colleagues active in similar initiatives and opportunities for peer-learning.

For the duration of 2021, the IWCI is partnering with four participants from two Nations. As we learn from this evolving initiative, we hope to scale this work to involve more participants and Nations.