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Recommendations for Funders of Water Research and Water Management in Canada

  1. Develop calls for proposals for research that includes the need for integrative Indigenous and Western knowledges.
  2. Target research opportunities to increase the number of researchers with Indigenous ancestry doing work in this area (refer to the CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health for guidance:
  3. Ensure that individuals with lived Indigenous experience are selected to conduct peer-review for the aforementioned funding opportunities and research proposals.
  4. Value and support work that implements Indigenous ways of knowing as a primary source and draws (or not) from Western knowledge to support it.
  5. Recognize that local contexts require local solutions and build this into calls for research (avoid ‘scaling up’ knowledge, which risks ‘one size fits all’ approaches that have been proven to fail.
  6. Emphasize long terms goals and relationships that are measured and evaluated by non-conventional metrics.
  7. Financially support water research and management that operationalizes a Two-Eyed Seeing* approach.
  8. Insist that water research and management being conducted in Indigenous communities is being led by Indigenous governments, organizations and communities or their designates.
  9. Financially support water research and management that contributes to addressing the calls to action put forward by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Final Report.
  10. Financially support water research and management that supports and enhances our wholistic relationships to water.
  11. Become familiar with and a practitioner of Two-Eyed Seeing.*


* Two-Eyed Seeing (Etuaptmumk) is a guiding principle articulated by Mi’kmaw Elder Albert Marshall that refers to “learning to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, and from the other eye with the strengths of Western (or Euroentric, conventional, or mainstream) knowledges and ways of knowing…and to using both these eyes together, for the benefit of all.” It recognizes that with the use of one eye (or one epistemology) the view appears whole but when both eyes (or both epistemologies) are used together the perspective is wholistic.