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Recommendations for Policy-Makers

  1. Recognize the need to take time to carefully and thoughtfully implement Indigenous ways of knowing in water policy, programs, and practice.
  2. Recognize that leadership (i.e. Chief and Council) is a First Nations-only model and become familiar with other forms of leadership (e.g. Hereditary) and that Inuit and the Metis nation have their own leadership and organizational structures.
  3. Share policy-making and decision-making power concerning water with the Indigenous peoples of Canada.
  4. Be critical of the water-related policies and decisions made that directly affect Indigenous peoples, especially when enacted without meaningful engagement.
  5. Relinquish policy-making and decision-making power concerning water within the boundaries of Indigenous jurisdiction in Canada;
  6. Create water policies and legislation that are beneficial to Indigenous communities in Canada – put Two-Eyed Seeing* approaches in practice.
  7. Create water policies and programs that address the calls to action put forward by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
  8. Devise water policy that will lead to effective and equitable programs that work to redress colonial legacies in Canada.
  9. Become familiar with and a practitioner of the Two-Eyed Seeing Guiding Principle*.

* 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.