Keepers of the Water: Day 3 + Follow up talks

The Keepers of the Water conference ended on Saturday with a lively talk from Maude Barlow, who has been a staunch advocate for the human right to water for some time. After Maude, Caleb Behn spoke on the possibility that water is a site for reconciliation based on his research in New Zealand. Caleb is also the subject of a documentary that was being filmed, in part, at the Keepers conference. It is entitled Fractured Lands, here is the trailer:

The conference concluded with break out sessions on water management in North Eastern B.C., legal dimensions of First Nations and Western Water Law. It was a tremendous gathering, hosted generously by the Ft. Nelson First Nations.

On Sunday a group of us took the long drive back to northern Alberta to meet in Slave Lake with some Big Stony First Nations people. Then on Monday and Tuesday I gave a series of talks at Portage College, Athabasca University and, last night, at the University of Alberta. The talks and time with people from all walks of life was a great privilege and highlights the importance people place on water. I was graciously taxied around, fed and so on by folks from the Crooked Creek Conservation Society, the Keepers of the Athabasca, the Council of Canadians and the Parkland Institute.

One of the great things I learned of was that the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association passed a new water policy last weekend. I am increasingly a believer in the importance of municipalities not only in water management, but in driving changes across water policy frameworks that are predominantly governed at the federal or provincial level. I have just downloaded the document and look forward to reading it on the flight back to Nova Scotia today.


  1. […] I somehow missed posting these pdfs in my earlier posts about the Keepers of the Water VI last month in Ft. Nelson B.C. (here, here and here). […]

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