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Perspectives on the BC Water Sustainability Act : First Nations Respond to Water Governance Reform in… Joe, Nadia; Bakker, Karen; Harris, Leila Mar 31, 2017

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     1 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   Cowichan  Tribes,  2013;;  UBCIC,  n.d.      Perspectives on the BC Water Sustainability Act: First Nations Respond to Water Governance Reform in British Columbia  NADIA JOE nadia@greenraven.ca  KAREN BAKKER karen.bakker@ubc.ca  LEILA HARRIS lharris@ires.ubc.ca  October  2016   NADIA JOE nadia@greenraven. a  KAREN B KKER karen.bakker@ubc.ca  LEILA HARRIS  lharris@ires.ubc.ca     MARCH 2017  Perspectives on the BC Water Sustainability Act: First Nations Respond to Water Governance Reform in British Columbia       2 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE	  OF	  CONTENTS	  ..........................................................................................................................	  2	  1.  Introduction	  ......................................................................................................................................	  3	  1.1	  Key	  Limitations	  .........................................................................................................................................	  4	  2.	  Background:	  Aboriginal	  Rights	  and	  Title	  to	  Water	  ..............................................................	  5	  3.	  Summary	  of	  First	  Nations	  Submissions	  ....................................................................................	  8	  3.1	  Overview	  .....................................................................................................................................................	  8	  3.2	  Statement	  of	  Methods	  .............................................................................................................................	  9	  3.3.1	  First	  Nations	  Relationship	  to	  Water	  .........................................................................................................	  10	  3.3.2	  First	  Nations	  Water	  Use	  .................................................................................................................................	  11	  3.3.3	  Water	  Issues	  in	  First	  Nations	  Communities	  ..........................................................................................	  11	  3.4	  Summary	  of	  Key	  Issues	  Related	  to	  the	  Water	  Sustainability	  Act	  ...........................................	  13	  3.4.1	  General	  Comments	  on	  the	  Water	  Sustainability	  Act	  .........................................................................	  13	  3.4.2	  Concerns	  with	  the	  Consultative	  Process	  .................................................................................................	  14	  3.4.3	  Challenging	  Provincial	  Jurisdiction	  over	  Water	  ..................................................................................	  15	  3.4.4	  Lack	  of	  Recognition	  of	  Aboriginal	  Rights	  and	  Title	  ............................................................................	  17	  3.4.5	  Key	  Issues	  and	  Concerns	  Regarding	  the	  Legislative	  Proposal	  ......................................................	  17	  3.5	  Summary	  of	  First	  Nations	  Interests	  in	  Water	  Governance	  ......................................................	  23	  3.5.1	  Perspectives	  in	  Management	  and	  Shared	  Decision-­‐‑Making	  ..........................................................	  23	  3.5.2	  Perspectives	  on	  Advancing	  the	  New	  Act	  .................................................................................................	  24	  4.	  From	  Participant	  to	  Partner	  ......................................................................................................	  26	  4.1	  Consultation:	  A	  Legal	  Duty	  or	  a	  Missed	  Opportunity?	  ...............................................................	  26	  4.2	  The	  Water	  Sustainability	  Act’s	  Potential	  Impact	  on	  First	  Nations	  ........................................	  27	  4.3	  Recommendations	  for	  Advancing	  the	  Act	  with	  First	  Nations	  .................................................	  28	  4.3.1	  Rebuilding	  the	  Relationship	  .........................................................................................................................	  28	  4.3.2	  Defining	  First	  Nations	  Role	  in	  Shared	  Water	  Governance	  ..............................................................	  29	  4.3.3	  Identifying	  Tools	  to	  Support	  First	  Nations	  Participation	  ................................................................	  29	  Appendix:	  List	  of	  Submissions	  ......................................................................................................	  32	  References	  ..........................................................................................................................................	  34	          3 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   1.  INTRODUCTION  Just  as  any  modernization  of  the  Water  Act  must  recognize  the  need  to  cope  with  a  larger  population  and  increased  demand  on  water,  so  must  it  recognize  the  rights  of  First  Nations  that  can  no  longer  be  ignored  under  the  New  Relationship.1  In  2009,  one  century  after  the  introduction  of  British  Columbia’s  original  Water  Act  of  1909,  the  Province  of  British  Columbia  began  the  process  of  modernizing  the  act.  Following  a  series  of  public  workshops  and  the  gathering  of  input  through  a  public  blog,  the  province  drafted  the  new  Water  Sustainability  Act  (WSA).  The  legislation  came  into  effect  on  February  29,  2016,  and  six  priority  regulations  have  been  developed  to  guide  the  application  of  the  legislation.2  Additional  regulations  will  be  developed  from  2016  onward  to  support  the  full  implementation  of  the  new  act.3    The  new  Water  Sustainability  Act  provides  a  comprehensive  framework  for  water  management  in  the  province  of  British  Columbia.  It  focuses  on  changes  to  seven  key  policy  and  regulatory  areas  in  order  to:4  1.   Protect  stream  health  and  aquatic  environments  2.   Consider  water  in  land-­use  decisions  3.   Regulate  groundwater  use  4.   Regulate  the  use  of  water  during  periods  of  scarcity  5.   Improve  security,  water-­use  efficiency,  and  conservation  6.   Measure  and  report  on  water  quality  and  quantity  7.   Enable  a  range  of  governance  approaches    Many  provisions  of  the  new  act  offer  greater  opportunities  for  First  Nations  participation  in  water  management  and  governance.  In  many  ways,  modernizing  the  Water  Act  represents  a  step  forward  for  First  Nations,  who  view  it  as  a  relic  of  colonialism  and  a  reflection  of  past  attitudes  that  largely  dismissed  or  ignored  Aboriginal  rights  (Cowichan  Tribes,  2013;;  UBCIC,  n.d.).  In  addition  to  meeting  the  growing  demands  placed  on  a  limited  water  supply,  the  Water  Sustainability  Act  represents  an  opportunity  to  evolve  from  earlier  practices  to  reflect  new  attitudes  and  legal  realities  that  will  guide  the  province  towards  a  new  relationship  with  Aboriginal  peoples.5  The  consultation  process  was  limited  in  a  number  of  important  ways,  however.  Jollymore  et  al.  (2016)  demonstrate  that  key  policy  outcomes  in  the  Water  Sustainability  Act  do  not  align  with                                                                                           1  Coldwater  Indian  Band,  2010.  2  The  six  priority  regulations  include:  Water  sustainability  regulation;;  Water  sustainability  fees,  rentals,  and  charges  tariff  regulation;;  Groundwater  protection  regulation;;  Dam  safety  regulation;;  Water  district  regulation;;  Violation  ticket  and  fines  regulation.  3  The  focus  of  additional  regulations  will  include:  Water  objectives;;  Water  sustainability  plans;;  Measuring  and  reporting;;  License  reviews;;  Designated  areas;;  Dedicated  agricultural  water;;  and  Alternative  governance  approaches.    4  “A  Water  Sustainability  Act:  A  Legislative  Proposal,”  2013.  British  Columbia  Ministry  of  Environment.  5  In  2005,  the  Province  of  British  Columbia  and  BC  First  Nations  entered  into  a  “New  Relationship”  with  the  aim  of  improving  government-­to-­government  relations.  The  accord  sets  out  new  processes  and  structures  for  working  together  on  decisions  over  land  and  resource  use,  revenue  sharing,  and  economic  development.       4 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   the  input  provided  by  the  majority  of  submissions,  including  those  from  First  Nations.  Further,  by  reviewing  the  multiple  stages  of  submissions,  they  document  the  fact  that  repeated  suggestions  were  offered  by  First  Nations  at  each  stage,  indicating  that  issues  raised  were  not  necessarily  being  addressed.  In  their  submissions,  First  Nations  contended  that  modernization  should  entail  working  directly  with  First  Nations  governments  on  a  government-­to-­government  basis  to  shape  legislation  with  the  potential  to  significantly  affect  First  Nations  lives  and  livelihoods.  Nevertheless,  although  this  potential  was  not  fully  realized  during  the  public  consultation  and  act  modernization  process,  there  are  still  opportunities  to  work  more  fully  towards  this  vision  as  part  of  the  implementation  of  the  new  act.  This  report  presents  the  range  of  perspectives  from  several  First  Nations  across  British  Columbia  on  the  proposed,  and  now  enacted,  Water  Sustainability  Act.  Unlike  other  stakeholders,  First  Nations  have  constitutionally  protected  rights  that  need  to  be  considered  separately  to  ensure  that  those  rights  are  not  infringed  upon.  Also  important,  First  Nations  have  distinct  relationships  to  their  lands  and  waters  and  can  offer  unique  insights  and  sustainable  solutions  to  water  management  within  the  watersheds  that  overlap  with  their  traditional  territories.  An  improved  and  respectful  working  relationship  with  First  Nations  can  support:  (1)  the  province’s  goals  of  improved  water  and  watershed  management  and  governance;;  and  (2)  First  Nations  access  to  safe  and  clean  water  sources  in  order  to  sustain  their  cultures  and  communities.    1.1  Key  Limitations  Before  proceeding  with  the  discussion,  it  is  critical  to  highlight  a  key  limitation  related  to  the  modernization  process.  Most  of  the  submissions  by  First  Nations  expressed  deep  concerns  over  the  process  undertaken  by  the  Province  of  British  Columbia  to  gather  feedback  as  part  of  the  multi-­stage  public  stakeholder  consultation.  They  indicated  that  this  was  not  an  appropriate  means  of  consulting  First  Nations,  particularly  because  of  the  act’s  potential  to  negatively  impact  Aboriginal  rights  and  title.  Because  the  province’s  voluntary  process  of  soliciting  feedback  may  have  limited  the  participation  rate  of  BC  First  Nations,  the  perspectives  presented  in  this  report  represent  only  a  small  fraction  (i.e.,  18  of  203)  of  BC  First  Nations;;6  they  should  not  be  taken  to  represent  all  BC  First  Nations  or  all  First  Nations  in  general.  Nonetheless,  valuable  insights  are  found  in  the  submissions  that  were  made  available  through  the  process.  Our  goal  is  to  highlight  the  major  themes  and  insights  that  were  foregrounded  by  First  Nations  as  part  of  this  process.                                                                                           6  A  total  of  18  submissions  from  individual  First  Nations  governments,  plus  7  submissions  by  Tribal  Associations  out  of  the  203  individual  First  Nations  that  make  up  British  Columbia.         5 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   2. BACKGROUND: ABORIGINAL RIGHTS AND TITLE TO WATER The  existing  aboriginal  and  treaty  rights  of  the  aboriginal  people  in  Canada  are  hereby  recognized  and  affirmed.7              –  Section  35(1),  Constitution  Act,  1982  For  our  Nations,  ownership  of  water,  or  title  to  water,  is  considered  an  aspect  of  Aboriginal  title.  We  maintain  that  our  Nations  have  Aboriginal  title  to  water,  and  therefore  the  right  to  use  it,  and  to  govern  its  use.    –  British  Columbia  Assembly  of  First  Nations,  2010    A  series  of  legal  decisions  by  the  Supreme  Court  of  Canada  (SCC)  over  the  past  two  decades  have  extended  Aboriginal  rights  and  title  in  Canada  in  a  number  of  ways.8  However,  the  question  of  whether  water  is  included  within  Aboriginal  title  (legal  land  rights)  has  not  yet  been  addressed  by  the  Canadian  courts  (Laidlaw  &  Passelac-­Ross,  2010;;  Phare  2009).  Aboriginal  rights  to  water  have  never  been  explicitly  established  or  disproven  through  a  court  ruling  in  Canada,  despite  the  fact  that  historical  inequalities  have  often  constrained  Indigenous  communities’  access  to  water  (Phare  2009;;  Simms  et  al  2016;;  von  der  Porten  &  de  Loë,  2013a,  b).9    As  a  result,  Indigenous  water  rights  in  Canada,  with  few  exceptions,  have  been  treated  implicitly  within  land-­focused  legal  claims.10  Recent  jurisprudence  is  noteworthy  in  this  regard,  with  several  key  court  cases  specifically  addressing  First  Nations’  water  access  and  rights.  For  example,  the  BC  Supreme  Court’s  Halalt  First  Nation  v.  BC  Environment  found  that  the  Halalt  had  a  proprietary  interest  in  the  groundwater  beneath  their  reserve  (Laidlaw  &  Passelac-­Ross,  2010).    The  water-­related  implications  of  the  landmark  Supreme  Court  of  Canada  Tsilhqot’in  decision  (Tsilhqot’in  Nation  v.  British  Columbia)  also  merit  consideration.  The  2014  ruling  granted  Aboriginal  title  to  lands  outside  an  Indian  reserve  (Coates  &  Newman,  2014;;  Tsilhqot’in  National  Government,  2014).  It  conferred  land  ownership  rights  over  a  more  significant  land  area  (compared  with  the  size  of  reserve  lands)  within  the  Tsilhqot’in  people’s  traditional  territory.  Other  rights  conferred  by  the  ruling  include  the  right  to  decide  how  the  land  will  be  used;;  the  right  to  possess  the  land;;  the  right  to  the  economic  benefits  of  the  land;;  and  the  right  to  proactively  use  and  manage  the  land                                                                                           7  Section  35(1)  of  the  Constitution  Act,  1982.  8  Calder  (1973);;  Guerin  (1984);;  Sparrow  (1990);;  Delgamuukw  (1984-­97);;  Haida/Taku  River  Tlingit  (2004).    9  This  situation  contrasts  with  that  in  the  United  States,  where  the  Winters  doctrine  and  subsequent  Cappaert  decision  (Winters  v.  United  States,  1908;;  Cappaert  v.  United  States,  1976)  state  that  surface  and  ground  water  rights  are  implied  by  the  federal  establishment  of  American  Indian  reservations,  and  (further)  set  standards  to  which  the  US  government  must  adhere  in  ensuring  sufficient  water  for  reservations,  thereby  recognizing  the  centrality  of  water-­land  interactions  to  American  Indian  communities  (Shurts  2000).  10  Aboriginal  rights  are  enshrined  in  Section  35(1)  of  the  Constitution  Act,  1982,  which  protects  existing  Aboriginal  rights  from  being  extinguished  without  consent  of  the  Aboriginal  group  with  rights  and/or  interests  in  a  specific  land  base.       6 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   (para.  73).  These  rights  present  First  Nations  with  greater  opportunity  to  develop  self-­governance  functions  (Miller,  2015).    In  its  decision,  the  Supreme  Court  of  Canada  further  clarified  that  in  using  and  managing  the  titled  lands,  Aboriginal  peoples  are  not  “confined  to  the  uses  and  customs  of  pre-­sovereignty  times”  (para.  75),  and  thus  can  also  choose  how  to  use  their  lands.  However,  the  court  noted  that  Aboriginal  title  comes  with  an  important  restriction  on  use,  which  implies  an  inherent  conservation  limit  on  the  usage  of  land  and  resources.  It  held  that  Aboriginal  title  is    collective  title  held  not  only  for  the  present  generation  but  for  all  succeeding  generations  …  it  cannot  be  alienated  except  to  the  Crown  or  encumbered  in  ways  that  would  prevent  future  generations  of  the  group  from  using  and  enjoying  it.  Nor  can  the  land  be  developed  or  misused  in  a  way  that  would  substantially  deprive  future  generations  of  the  benefit  of  the  land.  (para.  74)  This  statement  builds  on  a  similar  restriction  originally  articulated  in  the  Supreme  Court  of  Canada’s  Delgamuukw  ruling  (Delgamuukw  v.  British  Columbia)  (Indigenous  and  Northern  Affairs  Canada,  2010).  However,  in  Tsilhqot’in,  the  court  has  clarified  that  this  restriction  not  only  applies  to  the  First  Nations  holding  Aboriginal  title  but  also  restricts  the  Crown’s  use  of  the  land.  Furthermore,  the  restriction  can  affect  third  parties  seeking  Crown  licenses,  approvals,  and/or  permits  for  development  (West  Coast  Environmental  Law,  2014).  Another  key  feature  of  the  Tsilhqot’in  ruling  was  the  greater  responsibility  placed  on  government,  or  others  seeking  to  use  the  land,  to  obtain  the  consent  of  the  Aboriginal  titleholders  (para.  76).  The  court  recommended  that  “governments  and  individuals  proposing  to  use  or  exploit  land,  whether  before  or  after  a  declaration  of  Aboriginal  title,  can  avoid  a  charge  of  infringement  or  failure  to  adequately  consult  by  obtaining  the  consent  of  the  interested  Aboriginal  group”  (para.  97).  This  represents  a  marked  change  from  the  previous  procedural  requirement  to  consult  and  accommodate  First  Nations.  The  court  also  clarified  that  without  obtaining  consent,  the  only  way  to  avoid  interfering  with  Aboriginal  rights  and  to  ensure  respect  from  Crown  governments  was  to  require  that  all  infringements  be  justified.  On  the  question  of  whether  legislation  would  apply  equally  to  Aboriginal  title,  the  court  found  that  provincial  laws  of  general  application  “should  apply  unless  they  are  unreasonable,  impose  a  hardship  or  deny  the  titleholders  their  preferred  means  of  exercising  their  rights,  and  such  restrictions  cannot  be  justified  pursuant  to  the  justification  framework  outlined  above”  (para.  115).  The  court  further  predicted  that  [l]aws  and  regulations  of  general  application  aimed  at  protecting  the  environment  or  assuring  the  continued  health  of  the  forests  of  British  Columbia  will  usually  be  reasonable,  not  impose  an  undue  hardship  either  directly  or  indirectly,  and  not  interfere  with  the  Aboriginal  group’s  preferred  method  of  exercising  their  right.  (para.  105)  As  of  2016,  an  Aboriginal  right  to  water  has  not  been  tested  in  Canadian  courts,  but  the       7 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   SCC  ruling  has  helped  to  clarify  the  respective  responsibilities  and  restrictions  applying  to  both  Aboriginal  peoples  and  the  Crown  in  managing  lands  and  resources.  Thus,  regulating  resources  under  provincial  laws  may  qualify  as  a  justifiable  infringement  on  Aboriginal  title.  However,  allocating  resources  to  third  parties  on  Aboriginal-­title  lands  without  prior  and  informed  consent  of  the  Aboriginal  group  affected  by  the  allocation  may  present  a  more  challenging  test  for  the  provincial  government.  In  other  words,  granting  rights  to  “timber,  minerals  or  water  on  Aboriginal  title  land  to  non-­Aboriginal  groups  will  be  subject  to  intense  scrutiny”  (Miller,  2015).  Equally  important  in  the  Tsilhqot’in  ruling  is  the  expectation  of  cooperation  and  the  implications  for  supporting  First  Nations  interests  in  water  governance  with  the  Province  of  British  Columbia.  In  his  concluding  remarks,  the  Chief  Justice  stated  the  expectation  that  “Aboriginal  groups  and  the  provincial  government  will  work  cooperatively  to  sustain  the  natural  environment  so  important  to  them  both”  (para.  105).  A  full  analysis  of  the  implications  of  legal  developments,  including  the  Tsilhqot’in  decision  and  the  Government  of  Canada’s  2016  endorsement  of  the  United  Nations  Declaration  on  the  Rights  of  Indigenous  Peoples,  is  beyond  the  scope  of  this  report.  This  evolving  legal  landscape  provides  context  for  our  analysis  of  the  limits  and  potential  of  the  Water  Act  Modernization  (WAM)  process.  The  following  section  of  the  report  now  turns  to  this  analysis.       8 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   3. SUMMARY OF FIRST NATIONS SUBMISSIONS 3.1  Overview  In  this  section,  we  provide  an  overview  of  the  submissions  received  through  the  Water  Act  Modernization  public  engagement  process  that  are  available  on  the  public  blog  portal.  Over  the  three-­stage  public  engagement  process,  First  Nations  governments,  tribal  associations,  organizations,  and  individuals  made  a  total  of  46  submissions.  Most  of  these  submissions  expressed  the  view  that  the  public  engagement  process  was  inadequate,  as  it  did  not  meet  their  expectations  of  how  the  province  would  engage  in  meaningful  consultation  regarding  changes  to  the  Water  Act.  Following  the  2009  release  of  the  “Living  Water  Smart  Plan,”  the  province  entered  into  its  first  public  consultation  period  for  the  Water  Act  Modernization  project.  Through  information  sessions  and  a  public  blog,  it  engaged  the  public,  other  stakeholders,  and  First  Nations  on  proposed  changes  to  the  Water  Act.  It  prepared  and  distributed  three  discussion  papers  for  stakeholder  review  and  comment:  1.   British  Columbia’s  Water  Act  Modernization:  Discussion  Paper  (released  September  2010)    2.   British  Columbia’s  Water  Act  Modernization:  Policy  Proposal  on  British  Columbia’s  new  Water  Sustainability  Act  (released  December  2010)  3.   A  Water  Sustainability  Act  for  BC:  Legislative  Proposal  (released  October  2013).    A  total  of  34  First  Nations  organizations,  governments,  and  individuals  throughout  British  Columbia,  and  one  from  Alberta,  made  46  formal  submissions  on  the  three  discussion  papers  (see  Appendix  A  for  a  list  of  respondents).  The  majority  of  responses,  18,  were  from  individual  First  Nations,  7  from  regional  tribal  associations,  4  from  provincial/territorial  organizations  for  BC  First  Nations,  3  from  independent  First  Nations  organizations,  and  2  from  First  Nations  individuals.    The  highest  concentration  of  participation  came  from  First  Nations  and  First  Nations  organizations  located  in  and  around  Vancouver  Island  and  the  Lower  Mainland  (see  Map  1).  Responses  varied  in  length  from  1  to  32  pages,  and  ranged  from  broad  legal  and  policy  analyses  to  focused,  one-­issue  submissions.  Fourteen  of  the  submissions  were  made  in  response  to  the  first  discussion  paper,  8  in  response  to  the  second  paper,  and  the  majority  (24)  in  response  to  the  legislative  proposal.  Only  two  respondents  (Kekinusuqs  and  the  Union  of  BC  Indian  Chiefs)  submitted  a  formal  response  to  all  three  papers.  These  generally  low  numbers  are  indicative  of  a  process  not  designed  and  implemented  in  a  way  that  solicited  meaningful  First  Nations  input  into  the  process  (cf.  Jollymore  et  al.,  2016).         9 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   3.2  Statement  of  Methods  This  report  is  based  on  a  review  of  the  46  submissions  made  by  First  Nations  governments,  organizations,  and  individuals  during  Stages  1,  2,  and  3  of  the  BC  Ministry  of  Environment’s  public  engagement  process.  Common  themes  that  emerged  centred  on  consultation,  jurisdiction,  and  the  relationship  between  First  Nations  and  the  province.  Additional  themes  that  were  identified  related  more  specifically  to  the  proposed  changes  to  the  Water  Act.  Although  many  of  the  comments  expressed  similar  concerns  and/or  support  for  changes  in  the  act,  some  divergent  opinions  were  expressed,  largely  reflecting  how  the  proposed  changes  might  be  interpreted,  particularly  as  they  pertained  to  either  the  specific  First  Nation  or  the  broader  public.  For  example,  many  submissions  suggested  that  the  proposed  water  fees  and  rentals  were  too  low  and  would  not  encourage  conservation  of  water  (broad  public  application),  whereas  a  few  (two  to  three)  individual  First  Nations  argued  that  water  fees  and  rentals  should  not  apply  to  all  the  uses  proposed  (i.e.,  run-­of-­river  hydropower).  In  the  latter  instances,  it  was  clear  that  some  of  the  proposed  changes  would  have  a  direct  impact  on  the  First  Nation  with  a  water-­use  license.  Besides  being  based  on  a  review  of  submissions,  this  report  was  supplemented  with  a  review  and  summary  of  the  Supreme  Court  of  Canada’s  ruling  in  Tsilhqot’in  Nation  v.  British  Columbia.  Additional  legal  summaries  were  also  reviewed  to  help  interpret  key  statements  in  the  Tsilhqot’in  decision.    Map  1  –  Distribution  of  First  Nations  that  submitted  formal  responses.  BC  Assembly  of  First  Nations  FN  Fisheries  Council  FN  Leadership  Council  FN  Summit  Union  of  BC  Indian  Chiefs       10 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   3.3  Summary  of  First  Nations  Water  Needs  Although  the  respondents  represented  only  a  fraction  of  the  203  First  Nations  communities  throughout  British  Columbia,  they  listed  a  range  of  interests  and  concerns  regarding  water  use  in  their  traditional  territories.  This  section  outlines  some  of  the  introductory  comments  that  many  respondents  made  regarding  their  unique  interests  and  challenges  with  water  use  in  First  Nations  communities  and  traditional  territories.    3.3.1  First  Nations  Relationship  to  Water  Our  relationship  with  our  lands,  territories  and  water  is  the  fundamental  physical  cultural  and  spiritual  basis  for  our  existence.  This  relationship  to  our  Mother  Earth  requires  us  to  conserve  our  freshwaters  and  oceans  for  the  survival  of  present  and  future  generations.  We  assert  our  role  as  caretakers  with  rights  and  responsibilities  to  defend  and  ensure  the  protection,  availability  and  purity  of  water.  We  stand  united  to  follow  and  implement  our  knowledge  and  traditional  laws  and  exercise  our  right  of  self-­determination  to  preserve  water,  and  to  preserve  life.11  One  of  the  most  notable  themes  observed  among  the  submissions  was  the  relationship  to  water  that  many  First  Nations  respondents  described  as  “sacred”  or  as  a  trust-­like  relationship  that  engendered  reciprocity  and  responsible  stewardship.    As  Indigenous  Peoples,  we  are  intimately  connected  to  water  and  we  must  protect  this  sacred  resource  for  the  generations  to  come.12    Water  is  central  to  our  ancestral  beliefs,  values  and  customs  in  which  our  cultures  thrive  and  exist.  Thus  “water”  is  sacred.13  Our  rights  and  responsibilities  to  protect,  care  for,  and  manage  the  land,  air  and  water  within  our  territory  are  part  of  our  heritage.14  …  we  carry  the  responsibility  for  maintaining  the  health  of  all  resources  for  future  generations.15  As  First  nations  people,  we  reiterate  the  importance  of  these  issues  as  it  is  our  responsibility  to  speak  for  the  protection  of  water  and  the  life  that  stems  from  it,  for  all  our  future  generations.16  Many  First  Nations  respondents  indicated  that  their  existence,  traditional  and  contemporary,  relied  on  access  to  clean  water.                                                                                           11  From  the  Simpcw  First  Nation  (a  Shuswap  Nation  member)  Water  Declaration  (2010),  cited  in  Shuswap  Nation  Tribal  Council,  2013,  p.  1.  12  UBCIC,  2010,  p.  14.  13  Okanagan  Nation  Alliance,  2010,  p.  1.  14  Fort  Nelson  First  Nation,  2013,  p.  1.  15  P’egp’ig’lha  Council,  2013,  p.  1.  16  Shuswap  Nation  Tribal  Council,  2013,  p.  1.       11 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   Every  aspect  of  the  existence  of  the  Cheslatta  Carrier  Nation,  from  a  historic  perspective  to  a  contemporary  aspect,  has  been  and  is  centered  around  the  issue  of  water.  We  are  here  because  of  water,  we  exist  because  of  water.17    3.3.2  First  Nations  Water  Use  Most  respondents  viewed  water  as  being  of  central  significance  to  First  Nations  communities,  not  only  for  meeting  basic  needs  to  sustain  their  health  and  well-­being  but  also  for  carrying  out  traditional  practices  and  customs,  such  as  providing  access  for  fishing,  hunting,  trapping,  harvesting,  and  gathering.    Cowichan  people  have  always  fished  and  harvested  from  the  rivers  and  the  sea     in  our  Traditional  Territory,  continuing  to  do  so  to  this  day.18    Traditionally,  water  was  also  a  means  of  transportation,  with  travel  corridors  following  waterways.    Historically,  the  availability  of  fresh,  clean  water  allowed  us  to  travel  freely  throughout  our  territory.19  From  a  historical  perspective  the  dugout  canoe  was  our  primary  source  of  travel  …  [my  great-­great-­grandmother]  would  paddle  to  the  travelling  site  by  Port  Mann  bridge  to  harvest  cedar  roots.20  However,  respondents  also  outlined  additional,  contemporary  uses  for  water  in  their  communities,  including  drinking,  irrigation,  commercial  purposes,  and  transportation.  Our  main  reserve  …  was  set  aside  as  a  reserve  by  Indian  Commissioner  Sproat  in  1878  and  it  [sic]  primary  function  and  purpose  as  a  reserve  has  always  been  for  grazing  and  agricultural  purposes  …  Access  to  water  is  a  necessary  element  of  these  reserve  lands  in  order  to  make  them  effective  for  their  intended  purpose.21  Several  submissions  also  expressed  the  importance  of  water  for  creating  economic  opportunities  in  their  communities.  First  Nations  see  [run-­of-­river]  hydro  projects  as  a  potential  opportunity  for  economic  development,  it  has  provided  benefits  for  many  Nations  already.22  3.3.3  Water  Issues  in  First  Nations  Communities  Most  respondents  cited  access  to  safe,  clean  water  for  a  variety  of  traditional  and  contemporary  uses  as  a  critical  issue  for  community  members.  Many  described  a  range  of  water-­related  concerns  affecting  their  communities,  including  seasonal  flooding,  boil-­                                                                                           17  Cheslatta  Carrier  First  Nation,  2013,  p.  1.  18  Cowichan  Tribes,  2010,  p.  3.  19  Fort  Nelson  First  Nation,  2013,  p.  2.  20  Shellene,  2013,  p.  2.  21  Coldwater  Indian  Band,  2010,  pp.  1-­2.  22  Tseshaht  First  Nation,  2011,  p.  1.       12 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   water  advisories,  freshwater  contamination  from  mining  and  oil  and  gas  activities,  and  declining  water  levels.  Every  year  a  large  portion  of  our  reserves  are  flooded  and  our  members  are  forced  to  leave  their  homes  …  [Flooding]  further  increases  contamination  of  our  wells  and  our  rivers.23  The  communities  of  Takla,  Tsay  Key  Dene  and  Kwadacha  …  challenged  the  proposed  expansion  of  a  gold  and  copper  mine  that  would  dump  800  million  tonnes  of  tailings  and  waste  rock  into  the  pristine,  high  elevation,  freshwater  lake  called  “Amazay  Lake.”24  Between  2000  and  2005,  35%  of  groundwater  observation  wells  showed  declining  water  levels.25  Another  key  water-­related  issue  that  many  respondents  noted  was  the  potential  impact  on  aquatic  habitat  observed  in  First  Nations  traditional  territories.  Uncertainty  over  climate  change  and  the  need  to  consider  how  water  will  be  managed  in  a  changing  climate  were  two  concerns  raised  by  several  respondents.    [Water]  is  becoming  more  important  as  climate  change  and  global  warming  increases  issues  of  drought  and  water  scarcity.26  Some  respondents  were  already  experiencing  relative  water  scarcity  and  had  concerns  regarding  the  current  allocation,  or  overallocation,  of  water  for  development.    Within  the  Okanagan  basin  many  of  our  streams  and  rivers  are  over  allocated  in  terms  of  water  licensing.  The  highly  competitive  nature  of  water  allocation  within  our  territory  is  harming  our  environment  and  way  of  life.27  Although  limited  to  respondents  from  northeastern  British  Columbia  (and  one  respondent  from  Alberta),  serious  concerns  were  raised  over  water  use  and  contamination  of  freshwater  aquifers  attributed  to  hydraulic  fracturing.  Shale  gas  development  requires  considerable  quantities  of  water,  and  one  respondent  detailed  the  concerns  over  the  approval  of  approximately  1,700  applications  to  withdraw  2.6  million  cubic  metres  of  water  per  day  from  water  resources  in  their  traditional  territory.28  These  water  withdrawals  and  associated  activities  were  found  to  be  impacting  not  only  water  and  riparian  habitat  in  this  region  but  also  First  Nations  culture,  health,  and  ability  to  exercise  Aboriginal  and  treaty  rights.    [Shale  gas  development]  activities  result  in  a  host  of  known  environmental  effects  including  changes  in  the  magnitude  and  timing  of  peak  and  low  flows,  increased                                                                                           23  Cowichan  Tribes,  2010  p.  3.  24  First  Nations  Summit,  2010,  p.  10.  25  Saulteau  First  Nation,  2013,  p.  3.  26  Kekinusuqs,  2013,  p.  1.  27  Okanagan  Nation  Alliance,  2013,  p.  3.  28  Fort  Nelson  First  Nation,  2013,  p.  2.       13 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   run-­off  and  erosion  causing  higher  sediment  concentrations,  and  harm  to  or  loss  of  wetlands  and  riparian  habitat.29  3.4  Summary  of  Key  Issues  Related  to  the  Water  Sustainability  Act  This  section  offers  a  breakdown  of  key  issues  raised  by  First  Nations  and  First  Nations  organizations  in  relation  to  the  proposed  changes  under  the  Water  Sustainability  Act.  First,  we  summarize  a  range  of  initial  comments  made  by  many  respondents  that  largely  agree  on  the  need  for  improved  water  management  and  governance.  Next,  we  explore  core  tensions  relating  to  the  process  of  modernizing  the  BC  Water  Act,  including:  lack  of  direct  consultation  with  First  Nations;;  jurisdiction  over  water  resources;;  and  lack  of  recognition  of  Aboriginal  rights  and  title.  Finally,  we  summarize  key  concerns  expressed  in  the  submissions  that  relate  directly  to  the  changes  that  were  proposed  to  the  Water  Sustainability  Act.    3.4.1  General  Comments  on  the  Water  Sustainability  Act    Most  respondents  agreed  on  the  need  to  improve  regulations  and  to  modernize  the  Water  Act.  Many  of  the  submissions  spoke  of  shared  interests  in  the  province’s  proposal  to  keep  freshwater  systems  healthy  for  future  generations.  In  general,  the  responses  were  largely  supportive  of  high-­level  principles  in  the  proposed  legislation  that  focused  specifically  on  sustainability,  protection  of  water  resources,  and  water  conservation.  First  Nations  share  the  BC  government’s  objective  of  improving  water  governance  and  protection,  if  they  are  achieved  on  the  basis  of  recognition  of  Aboriginal  title  and  rights,  and  with  the  full  involvement  of  First  Nations.30  Many  expressed  approval  of  improved  water  management  and  governance  practices,  including  but  not  limited  to  the  adoption  of  an  ecosystem-­based  approach  to  watershed  management,  management  of  surface  and  groundwater  together  as  a  linked  resource,  and  collaborative  development  of  watershed  plans  at  the  watershed  level.  An  ecosystem  based  approach  may  allow  watershed  management  to  be  more  responsive,  adaptive  or  resilient  to  changes  and  fluctuations  in  the  hydrologic  cycle  due  to  the  natural  or  seasonal  variability  and  to  changing  environmental  conditions.31  In  spite  of  the  general  agreement  to  make  improvements  to  the  outdated  act,  all  respondents  clearly  expressed  concerns  over  the  largely  nonexistent  role  of  First  Nations  in  the  development  of  the  new  legislation  and  of  policies  and  regulations  to  implement  it.  Almost  all  the  submissions  asserted  that  the  province  needed  to  collaborate  with  First  Nations  in  order  to  advance  the  act  and  recognize  Aboriginal  rights  and  title  with  respect  to  water.                                                                                           29  Ibid.    30  First  Nations  Summit,  2010,  p.  8.  31  First  Nations  Fisheries  Council,  2010,  App.  B,  p.  4.       14 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   3.4.2  Concerns  with  the  Consultative  Process  [The  Act]  must  reflect  that  First  Nations  in  BC  have  constitutionally  protected  Aboriginal  title  and  rights  under  section  35  (1)  of  the  Constitution  Act,  1982,  and  the  Crown  has  corresponding  obligations  to  First  Nations  when  it  undertakes  planning  and  decision-­making  with  respect  to  lands  and  resources.32  A  review  of  the  submissions  reveals  that  for  an  overwhelming  number,  the  primary  issue  for  First  Nations  was  that  the  public  consultation  process  set  out  by  the  province  did  not  meet  First  Nations’  expectations  of  engaging  in  meaningful  consultation  over  changes  to  the  legislative  framework  governing  water  use  in  British  Columbia.    Furthermore,  many  respondents  clearly  stated  that  their  submission  did  not  constitute  consultation.33  Many  described  consultation  as  a  longer  period  of  engagement,  in  contrast  to  the  relatively  short  timeframe  set  by  the  province  for  submissions.  “Meaningful  consultation”  was  also  understood  as  one  that  was  first  set  out  and  agreed  to  by  all  parties  engaged  in  the  consultation  process.    The  broad  public  process  that  has  taken  place  thus  far  is  not  focused  on  aboriginal  concerns,  is  not  an  aboriginal  consultation  process  and  does  not  uphold  the  honour  of  the  Crown  in  respect  of  its  duties  to  consult  with  [First  Nations].34  To  resolve  this  issue,  many  submissions  referred  the  province  to  the  principles  outlined  in  the  “New  Relationship”  vision.35  The  New  Relationship  Accord  committed  the  BC  government  and  the  BC  First  Nations  Leadership  Council  (FNLC)  to  an  improved  relationship  honouring  three  principles:  •   Respect,  recognition,  and  accommodation  of  Aboriginal  title  and  rights  •   Respect  for  each  other’s  laws  and  responsibilities  •   Reconciliation  of  Aboriginal  and  Crown  titles  and  jurisdictions.  (Province  of  British  Columbia,  2005)  The  New  Relationship  documents  –  particularly  the  Transformative  Change  Accord  and  the  Métis  Nation  Relationship  Accord  –  set  out  a  framework  for  working  together,  specifically  on  land  and  resource  decisions.  Many  submissions  pointed  out  that  the  government  of  British  Columbia  was  not  acting  in  accordance  with  its  New  Relationship  commitments  (for  a  critique  of  the  New  Relationship,  see  Woolford,  2011).  Some  submissions  also  articulated  the  legal  obligations  of  all  levels  of  government  in  Canada                                                                                           32  Submission  by  First  Nations  Summit,  2010,  p.  1.  33  See  Supreme  Court  of  Canada  Haida  Nation  (2004)  and  Taku  River  Tlingit  (2004)  decisions.  34  Ratcliff  &  Company,  LLP,  May  4,  2010,  submission  on  behalf  of  the  Coldwater  Indian  Band.  35  The  New  Relationship  document  was  agreed  to  by  the  leadership  of  the  First  Nations  Summit,  the  Union  of  British  Columbia  Indian  Chiefs,  the  British  Columbia  Assembly  of  First  Nations,  and  then-­Premier  Gordon  Campbell.  This  document  resulted  from  discussions  with  senior  provincial  government  officials  on  how  to  establish  a  new  government-­to-­government  relationship  based  on  respect,  recognition,  and  accommodation  of  Aboriginal  rights  and  title.  The  document  sets  out  a  vision  statement,  goals  of  the  parties,  principles  of  a  new  relationship,  and  some  action  plans.  See  http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/natural-­resource-­stewardship/consulting-­with-­first-­nations/agreements/other-­docs/new_relationship_accord.pdf.         15 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   to  engage  in  consultation  with  First  Nations,  and  argued  that  the  consultation  process  did  not  recognize  that  Indigenous  peoples  have  constitutionally  protected  rights  that  have  been  “recognized  and  affirmed”  in  the  Constitution  of  Canada  and  thus  require  an  appropriate  degree36  of  consultation  directly  with  First  Nations  governments.37  For  example,  many  of  the  First  Nations  organizations  and  governments  invited  the  province  to  engage  directly  at  the  Nation  level  with  First  Nations  throughout  British  Columbia  to  ensure  that  water  needs  as  well  as  the  interests  and  values  of  communities  were  accurately  and  adequately  considered  in  the  proposed  and  forthcoming  legislative,  policy,  and  regulatory  changes.  However,  the  consultation  process  was  structured  in  such  a  manner  that  Indigenous  groups  were  treated  as  analogous  to  stakeholders  and  interest  groups,  rather  than  as  one  of  the  principals  in  a  Nation-­to-­Nation  relationship.  The  process  undertaken  by  the  province  to  solicit  feedback  from  First  Nations  also  created  barriers  to  participation.  Most  of  the  submissions  by  BC  First  Nations  expressed  interest  in  participating  in  the  discussion  because  of  the  significance  of  water  and  its  management  on  their  reserves  and  in  their  traditional  territories.  They  indicated,  however,  that  the  time  period  allotted  for  review  of  the  discussion  papers  was  particularly  problematic  due  to  the  limited  resources  and  capacity  of  most  First  Nations  to  conduct  a  thorough  review  of  legislation.  Many  of  the  respondents  requested  that  the  province  provide  additional  resources  to  help  First  Nations  perform  an  in-­depth  review  of  the  proposed  legislation,  thus  enabling  them  to  participate  in  the  process.  An  additional  barrier  cited  by  some  First  Nations  involved  the  technology  employed  by  the  province  to  gather  input.  Some  suggested  that  soliciting  feedback  using  Internet  technologies  could  exclude  some  First  Nations  due  to  limited  Internet  access  in  remote  locations.  Relying  solely  on  input  obtained  through  an  online  portal  could  also  exclude  community  members,  such  as  Elders,  who  had  specialized  local  knowledge  of  water  resources  but  lacked  access  to  adequate  technologies.  Many  First  Nations  do  not  have  regular  access  to  the  Internet  (e.g.,  due  to  remoteness)  and,  so,  would  not  be  in  a  position  to  access  the  Living  Water  Smart  Blog  in  a  regular  or  meaningful  way.38  3.4.3  Challenging  Provincial  Jurisdiction  over  Water    Where  Aboriginal  Title  and  Rights  have  not  been  addressed,  the  Government  of                                                                                           36  In  its  2008  Hupacasath  decision  (Hupacasath First Nation v. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Canada and The Attorney General of Canada, 2015 FCA 4, FCA),  the  court  distinguished  “deep  consultation”  from  lower  levels  of  consultation.  The  extent  of  consultation  depends  on  the  First  Nation’s  strength  of  claim  and  the  extent  of  the  potential  infringement  on  Aboriginal  rights  (see  Jones  and  Marcoux  2015).  37  From  the  Haida  and  Taku  River  Tlingit  decisions  in  2004,  and  the  Mikisew  Cree  decision  in  2005,  the  Supreme  Court  of  Canada  determined  that  the  Crown  has  a  duty  to  consult  and,  where  appropriate,  accommodate  First  Nations  when  the  Crown  is  contemplating  an  action  or  activity  that  might  adversely  impact  potential  or  established  Aboriginal  or  Treaty  rights.  The  degree  of  consultation  with  First  Nations  depends  on  the  strength  of  the  case  supporting  the  existence  of  Aboriginal  rights  and  title  and  the  seriousness  of  the  adverse  effect,  or  potential  effects,  on  the  rights  and/or  title  claimed.  Hupacasath  First  Nation  v.  British  Columbia  (Minister  of  Forests)  et  al.,  2000  BCSC  1712,  para.  138.    38  UBCIC,  2011,  p.  7.       16 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   British  Columbia  does  not  have  the  title  or  jurisdiction  to  assert  ownership,  control  or  jurisdiction  over  water.39  A  number  of  respondents  rejected  the  provincial  assertion  of  jurisdiction  over  water  resources,  specifically  noting  that  surface  and  ground  water  located  on  and  below  Indian  reserve  lands  were  not  under  provincial  jurisdiction.  Several  respondents  also  disputed  the  province’s  authority  to  grant  water  licenses  to  third  parties  giving  them  priority  access  to  resources  that  are  considered  to  fall  under  Aboriginal  jurisdiction  or  that  would  interfere  with  Aboriginal  rights.    The  province  asserts  jurisdiction  to  permit  and  regulate  all  uses  of  water;;  but  this  jurisdiction  cannot  extend  to  Indian  reserve  lands,  or  to  all  areas  of  the  province  where  Aboriginal  Title  and  Rights  have  not  been  addressed.40  [T]he  proposed  WSA  …  continues  to  assert  unilateral  jurisdiction  to  regulate  and  control  access  to  groundwater  including  the  authority  to  provide  third  parties  with  access  to  water  resources  that  are  under  Aboriginal  jurisdiction.41  Several  respondents  took  issue  with  the  province’s  proposal  to  delegate  authority  without  addressing  the  rights  and  jurisdiction  of  First  Nations  peoples  and  governments.  This  delegated  approach  maintains  the  fundamental  flaw  of  assuming  that  the  Province  has  sole  jurisdiction  over  water  and  thus  the  authority  to  delegate  water  resources  where  there  is  a  reasonable  basis  for  Aboriginal  jurisdiction.42  Instead  of  delegated  authority,  some  respondents  expressed  the  need  for  shared,  or  collaborative,  approaches  to  govern  water  resources,  due  in  part  to  the  challenge  of  managing  a  resource  that  crosses  political  and  administrative  boundaries.  Water  issues  transcend  jurisdictional  boundaries  and  are  not  the  responsibility  of  just  one  governing  body.43  Regardless  of  whether  the  province  will  assert  a  centralized,  delegated,  or  shared  approach  to  water  governance,  many  respondents  requested  greater  clarity  regarding  how  First  Nations  rights  and  knowledge  will  be  respected  in  the  new  act.  [A]ny  governance  system  respecting  water  must  include  traditional  ecological  knowledge  in  water  allocation  decisions,  and  prioritize  First  Nations’  water  rights  in  decision-­making,  whether  the  preferred  approach  is  centralized,  shared  or  delegated.44  For  many,  the  issue  of  water  ownership  and  jurisdiction  represented  not  only  an  outstanding  issue  that  needs  to  be  reconciled  with  existing  Aboriginal  rights  but  indeed  the  central  issue  for  BC  First  Nations.                                                                                           39  UBCIC,  2010,  p.  3.  40  UBCIC,  2013,  p.  4.  41  BCAFN,  2013,  p.  20.  42  Ibid.,  p.  23.  43  Cowichan  Tribes,  2013,  p.  1.  44  Dene  Tha  First  Nation,  2013,  p.  12.       17 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   [The]  most  important  issue  for  our  Nations  is  who  owns  the  water  and  who  has  the  right  to  determine  access  to  the  water  for  all  possible  uses.45  3.4.4  Lack  of  Recognition  of  Aboriginal  Rights  and  Title    The  Proposal  fails  to  address  [our]  First  Nation’s  constitutionally-­protected  rights  to  sufficient  quality  and  quantity  of  water.46  Another  core  tension  raised  by  most  First  Nations  respondents  was  the  province’s  lack  of  explicit  recognition  of  Aboriginal  prior  and  priority  rights  to  water  use.  For  many  First  Nations,  Aboriginal  title  includes  water,  as  access  to  safe,  clean  water  is  necessary  to  the  continued  practice  of  Aboriginal  rights  that  have  already  been  recognized  and  protected  by  law.  Many  Aboriginal  and  Treaty  rights  rely  upon  healthy  and  sufficient  flows  of  water  to  sustain  them,  such  as  fishing,  hunting,  or  other  gathering  rights,  and  spiritual  practices.  Indeed,  it  is  nearly  impossible  to  imagine  an  Aboriginal  or  Treaty  right  that  does  not  depend  upon  water.47  Because  of  the  inextricable  link  between  access  to  water  and  the  ability  to  exercise  Aboriginal  rights,  many  respondents  maintained  that  Aboriginal  rights  and  title  must  include  the  inherent  right  of  self-­determination  over  water  resources.  This  is  particularly  important  for  some  First  Nations,  such  as  Treaty  8  First  Nations,  whose  constitutionally  recognized  Aboriginal  rights  and  title  need  to  be  explicitly  recognized  in  the  new  legislation.  Our  strong  position  was  that  our  Treaty  should  confirm  ownership  and  protection  of  groundwater.48  3.4.5  Key  Issues  and  Concerns  Regarding  the  Legislative  Proposal    This  section  outlines  key  concerns  relating  directly  to  the  proposed  provisions  of  the  Water  Sustainability  Act.  Precedence  of  rights  (FITFIR  model)    Based  on  the  submissions  that  mentioned  the  “first-­in-­time,  first-­in-­right”  (FITFIR)  model  proposed  by  the  province,  all  parties  rejected  the  proposal  as  an  appropriate  means  of  managing  water,  especially  in  times  of  scarcity.  This  was  largely  due  to  its  reliance  on  the  date  that  a  water  license  was  originally  issued,  rather  than  on  prior49  and  priority  use50  for  water.  The  introduction  of  the  water  licensing  system  by  the  Province  does  not  change                                                                                           45  From  British  Columbia  Assembly  of  First  Nations,  Governance  Toolkit,  p.  445,  cited  in  BCAFN,  2013,  p.  8.  46  Ditidaht  First  Nation,  2013,  p.  1.  47  UBCIC,  2013,  p.  4.  48  Sliammon  First  Nation,  2013,  p.  1.  49  Prior  use  relates  to  First  Nations  “prior,  superior,  and  unextinguished  Aboriginal  Title  and  water  rights”  (UBCIC,  n.d.,  p.4).  50  Priority  use  describes  the  need  to  consider  environmental  flow  needs  for  preservation  of  aquatic  habitat.           18 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   the  fact  that  Aboriginal  peoples  of  BC,  and  indeed  across  Canada,  were  the  first  users  of  the  water,  and  continue  to  use  water  for  the  exercise  of  their  constitutionally  protected  Aboriginal  and  Treaty  rights.51  One  respondent  suggested  that  first  rights  to  water  should  be  determined  based  on  the  water  uses  that  are  most  essential  for  supporting  or  giving  life.  For  example,  water  for  drinking  would  be  the  first  priority,  followed  by  water  for  growing  food  for  local  residents.  Others  suggested  working  with  First  Nations  to  establish  water-­use  priorities  based  on  rights  and  needs.  For  many,  this  would  mean  giving  first  priority  to  conservation  needs  or  environmental  flow  needs,  followed  by  Aboriginal  water  needs.  This  order  of  priority  would  be  consistent  with  the  Supreme  Court  of  Canada’s  decision  in  R.  v.  Sparrow,  which  found  that  subsistence  harvesting  by  Aboriginal  peoples  should  be  given  priority  once  conservation  requirements  for  the  resource  have  been  met  (Library  of  Parliament,  1996).    First  Nations  rights,  contemporary  or  traditional,  enjoy  a  constitutional  priority.52  As  determined  by  Sparrow,  conservation  needs  have  been  established  as  the  first  priority  in  the  context  of  resource  use,  followed  by  Aboriginal  rights,  meaning  that  once  conservation  goals  for  a  given  resource  have  been  met,  Aboriginal  people  have  priority  right  to  resources  for  food,  social,  or  ceremonial  purposes  over  other  user  groups.  How  this  would  apply  to  water  resources  has  not  been  tested  in  the  courts  –  yet.    Groundwater  regulations    While  generally  supporting  the  introduction  of  groundwater  regulations,  many  respondents  again  rejected  the  FITFIR  model  as  it  would  be  applied  to  groundwater  licenses.  This  approach  to  groundwater  regulation  continues  the  Crown’s  practice  of  legitimizing  historical  denial  of  Aboriginal  rights.53    Many  not  only  took  issue  with  the  province’s  overlooking  of  First  Nations’  prior  groundwater  use  but  also  raised  concerns  over  the  potential  for  overallocation  of  groundwater  resources  through  the  granting  of  water  licenses  to  all  existing  users.  As  some  suggested,  this  approach  could  potentially  commit  the  province  to  an  unsustainable  level  of  groundwater  usage.  The  Issuance  of  back-­dated  licenses  to  existing  users  would  be  extremely  problematic,  particularly  in  conjunction  with  the  FITFIR  principle.  Many  groundwater  aquifers  are  already  over-­allocated  …  This  approach  would  enhance  the  rights  of  large-­scale  users  at  the  expense  of  the  environment  and  other  users.54  This  approach  to  groundwater  regulation  is  particularly  problematic  given  the  fact                                                                                           51  UBCIC,  2011,  p.  3.  52  First  Nations  Fisheries  Council,  2010,  p.  4.  53  BCAFN,  2014,  p.  2.  54  Fort  Nelson  First  Nation,  2013,  p.  12.       19 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   that  the  current  use  of  groundwater  in  BC  is  not  ecologically  sustainable.55    A  few  respondents  raised  concerns  specifically  over  the  proposed  exemptions  for  a  groundwater  license,  including  exemptions  for  domestic  wells,  geothermal  and  remediation  wells,  and  deep  saline  groundwater  wells.  Without  the  need  for  a  license,  it  is  not  clear  how  the  province  intends  to  manage  these  wells  should  the  aquifer  become  depleted,  thereby  increasing  the  potential  for  conflict  among  well  users  drawing  from  the  same  aquifer.    Several  respondents  offered  additional  suggestions  to  enhance  the  proposed  groundwater  regulations,  including:    •   Recognizing  First  Nations’  prior  and  priority  rights  to  groundwater  •   Making  water  allocations  the  sole  responsibility  of  one  statutory  decision  maker56    •   Completing  an  inventory  of  groundwater  resources  that  would  consider  linkages  to  surface  water  •   Developing  exemptions  with  First  Nations  •   Considering  traditional  knowledge  in  assessing  the  cumulative  impacts  to  groundwater.  New  or  updated  governance  tools  Many  of  the  submissions  referred  specifically  to  the  suite  of  new  governance  tools  proposed  in  the  legislation.  However,  several  First  Nations  indicated  that  these  tools  should  be  considered  only  after  First  Nations’  priority  water  rights  were  recognized.    Environmental  flow  needs  (EFN)  –  Initially,  several  First  Nations  acknowledged  the  value  of  identifying  environmental  flow  needs.  However,  many  expressed  concerns  over  the  language  of  simply  “considering”  EFN,  as  they  felt  that  it  did  not  offer  enough  protection.  Some  were  also  concerned  that  EFN  would  be  considered  only  in  the  context  of  new  or  amended  licenses.  Many  stated  that  in  doing  this,  the  province  would  be  overlooking  existing  pressures  on  water  systems.  Many  also  suggested  that  the  province  integrate  localized  traditional  knowledge  to  define  EFN  and  adopt  a  precautionary  approach  in  setting  critical  thresholds  to  protect  the  health  of  the  aquatic  ecosystem.  Area-­based  regulations  and  water  sustainability  plans  –  Several  First  Nations  expressed  the  need  to  work  with  the  province  to  develop  thresholds  to  ensure  that  First  Nations  could  exercise  constitutionally  protected  rights,  including  fishing  and  harvesting.  Any  establishment  of  area-­based  regulations,  which  define  thresholds  of  water  use,  and/or  set  out  potential  exemptions  from  licensing,  must  be  subject  to                                                                                           55  BCAFN,  2014,  p.  2.  56  Water  licenses  may  be  authorized  by  one  of  the  following  agencies:  Ministry  of  Environment;;  Ministry  of  Forests,  Lands,  and  Natural  Resource  Operations;;  and  Oil  and  Gas  Commission.         20 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   consultation  with  First  Nations,  to  ensure  that  First  Nations’  Flow  Needs  and  First  Nations’  water  rights  are  taken  into  account.57  Many  respondents  were  encouraged  by  the  potential  for  greater  collaboration  among  government,  First  Nations,  the  public,  and  other  stakeholders  to  develop  locally  appropriate  plans  and  regulations,  as  well  as  by  the  potential  off-­ramp  to  FITFIR  that  the  development  of  a  water  sustainability  plan  could  provide.  However,  as  participants  in  a  multi-­stakeholder  process,  several  felt  that  it  was  important  for  issues  relating  to  First  Nations  rights  not  to  be  “subsumed  into  public  discourse  and  subject  to  debate.”58  The  legislation  will  need  to  address  how  decision  making  is  to  be  shared  and  how  different  interests  will  be  weighed.  Water  objectives  –  Again,  many  First  Nations  described  the  need  to  be  engaged  in  developing  water  objectives  that  will  be  used  to  influence  decision  makers.  Establishing  water  objectives  would  entail  not  only  defining  the  objectives  or  targets  but  also  identifying  the  processes  to  develop  and  implement  these  objectives  and  to  ensure  that  they  are  enforced  regionally.  Agricultural  water  reserves  –  Several  First  Nations  indicated  that  water  reserved  for  agricultural  use  would  need  to  first  respect  First  Nations’  priority  rights  to  water  use.    Beneficial  use  –  Some  concerns  were  raised  over  how  “beneficial  use”  is  defined  to  benefit  private  users  exclusively,  thus  excluding  unlicensed  users  and  uses  such  as  First  Nations  and  the  environment.  Several  noted  the  possibility  that  “beneficial  use”  could  adversely  affect  First  Nations  water  rights  by  affecting  “availability  of  sufficient  water  quality  and  quantity  to  exercise  Aboriginal  and  treaty  rights.”59  Temporary  water  reduction  orders  –  Many  suggested  that  planning  for  and  responding  to  times  of  water  scarcity  will  require  First  Nations  engagement  and  integration  of  traditional  ecological  knowledge.    Monitoring  and  reporting  –  There  was  general  support  for  greater  and  more  frequent  monitoring  of  surface  and  ground  water  resources  to  help  inform  water  allocation  and  adaptive  management  approaches.    The  WSA  should  require  applicants  for  all  water  withdrawal  applications  (both  short  and  long-­term)  to  collect  adequate  baseline  data  including  multiple  years  of  hydrological  data  collected  from  the  point  of  diversion  that  captures  seasonal  variability.60  Some  further  suggested  that  the  modernization  process  was  an  opportunity  to  work  with  First  Nations  to  enhance  understanding  of  local  watersheds.  A  few  respondents  indicated  an  interest  in  having  access  to  data  collected  in  their  traditional  territories.                                                                                           57  Dene  Tha’  First  Nation,  2013,  p.  8.  58  Pacheedaht  First  Nation,  2013,  p.  7.  59  Ibid.,  p.  8.  60  Fort  Nelson  First  Nation,  2013,  p.  6.       21 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   Some  had  concerns  that  the  proposed  threshold  of  200,000  L/day  for  carrying  out  monitoring  and  reporting  was  too  high.  Only  a  fraction  of  users  are  represented  at  this  volume,  and  it  may  not  accurately  represent  the  extent  of  water  use  in  the  province.    Unlicensed  permitted  uses  –  Concerns  were  expressed  over  the  lack  of  information  pertaining  to  the  types  of  uses  that  would  not  require  a  permit.  Allowing  unlicensed  permitted  uses  could  potentially  leave  the  resource  vulnerable  to  exploitation.  Many  respondents  indicated  that  more  information  would  be  needed  in  order  to  understand  the  overall  impact  on  a  water  system.    While  it  may  seem  that  low  risk  applications  may  be  little  impact,  if  there  are  enough  of  them,  or  the  water  levels  are  more  sensitive  to  use,  or  people  take  advantage  and  use  the  water  for  other  purposes  and  there  is  not  enough  enforcement,  stream  health  could  be  affected.61  Significant  concerns  were  voiced  over  the  exemption  from  permit  requirements  of  saline  water  source  wells  that  are  typically  used  in  hydraulic  fracturing  activities.  Several  First  Nations  supported  the  regulation  of  all  industrial  water  uses.    Duration  of  permit  –  Several  concerns  were  raised  over  the  term  over  the  proposed  term  of  water  licenses.  Some  respondents  indicated  the  need  for  more  frequent  reviews  of  water  licenses  than  the  term  proposed  by  the  province,  and  suggested  that  more  frequent  reviews  would  allow  for  a  more  proactive  implementation  of  adaptive  management  measures.  Licenses  should  have  limited,  defined  terms,  so  that  Environmental  Flow  Needs  and  First  Nations  Flow  Needs  will  be  assessed  upon  renewal  on  a  regular  basis.  This  will  allow  for  adaptive  management.62  Delegated  decision-­making  –  As  mentioned  earlier,  many  First  Nations  have  stated  that  the  province  is  not  in  a  position  to  delegate  authority  over  all  water  resources,  especially  where  there  is  a  reasonable  basis  for  Aboriginal  jurisdiction.  Resolution  of  overlapping  and  shared  jurisdiction  will  be  needed  to  ensure  the  legitimacy  of  authority  delegated  by  the  province.  In  addition,  some  respondents  called  for  greater  clarity  regarding  roles,  responsibilities,  and  financial  resources  that  would  be  made  available  to  carry  out  delegated  duties.    Water  fees  and  rentals  –  A  few  respondents  suggested  that  the  proposed  fees  were  too  low  and  would  not  encourage  conservation  of  water.  Some  felt  that  First  Nations  should  not  be  subject  to  the  same  water  fees  as  other  users,  and  requested  exemptions  for  community  projects.  Others  reasoned  that  higher  fees  should  not  apply  to  non-­consumptive  water  licenses.63  Still  others  indicated  an  interest  in  pursuing  revenue  sharing,  as  proposed  in  the  New  Relationship  Accord.  [Run-­of-­river]  power  projects  don’t  consume  water  so  increasing  fees  to                                                                                           61  Kekinusuqs,  2010,  p.  6.  62  Ditidaht  First  Nation,  2013,  p.  7.  63  Tseshaht  First  Nation,  2011,  p.  1.       22 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   encourage  conservation  will  place  an  additional  burden  upon  our’s  [sic]  and  other  First  Nation  small  hydro  projects.64  There  were  also  concerns  that  charging  fees  for  water  would  contribute  to  the  commodification  of  water  resources  and  that  there  might  be  broader  implications  under  international  trade  agreements.  Many  respondents  rejected  outright  what  they  perceived  as  the  commodification  of  water  resources.    The  utility  of  water  is  not  represented  by  a  singular  value  of  exploitation  for  profit.65    The  Province’s  approach  to  water  governance  has  largely  been  to  manage  water  as  a  commodity  –  a  resource  to  be  exploited  for  economic  gain.  This  contrasts  with  the  near  opposite  worldview  of  First  Nations  who  primarily  view  water  and  water  resources  as  essential  for  life  and  a  resource  to  be  valued  and  protected  first  and  foremost.66  Additional  concerns  A  number  of  concerns  were  raised  by  respondents  with  respect  to  a  broader  range  of  issues  relating  to  water  management.    Cumulative  effects  –  Concerns  were  expressed  over  the  combined  impacts  on  the  environment  from  the  existing  44,000  water  licenses,  as  well  as  over  the  potential  for  “oversubscribing”  water  flows  and  the  effects  on  the  riparian  habitat.    FNWARM  shares  the  concern  with  other  First  Nations  that  revision  to  the  current  legislative  framework  should  include  a  cumulative  impact  assessment  of  multiple  groundwater  extractions.67  The  cumulative  impacts  of  forestry,  transmission  lines,  seismic  lines,  oil  and  gas  wells  and  wind  tenures,  amount  to  a  significant  change  in  the  hydrological  regime  within  the  Moberly  River  Watershed.68  Sustainable  water  allocations  –  Respondents  emphasized  the  desire  to  ensure  that  water  would  be  sustainably  and  equitably  allocated  for  both  existing  communities  and  future  generations.  Provided  watershed-­based  water  allocation  plans  are  founded  on  environmental  protection,  sustainability  and  protection  of  aboriginal  and  Treaty  rights  …  and  are  developed  with  meaningful  participation  with  First  Nations,  we  support  these  plans  setting  the  regulatory  framework  for  decision-­makers.69  Climate  change  –  Many  respondents  indicated  the  need  to  consider  water  allocations                                                                                           64  Tla-­o-­qui-­aht  First  Nation,  2011,  p.  1.  65  UBCIC,  2010,  p.  7.  66  First  Nations  Summit,  2013,  p.  21.  67  First  Nations  Women  Advocating  Responsible  Mining,  2010,  p.  7.  68  Saulteau  First  Nation,  2013,  p.  4.  69  Treaty  8  First  Nations,  2010,  p.  5.       23 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   in  a  changing  climate  model  and  to  consider  options  for  monitoring  and  mitigating  climate  change  effects.  More  frequent  reviews  will  be  increasingly  important,  given  the  potential  of  climate  change  to  drastically  affect  water  supply.70  Resolution  of  water  conflicts  –  Some  First  Nations  currently  have  a  dispute  with  the  province  over  water  and  have  expressed  the  desire  to  create  a  mechanism  to  resolve  water  conflicts  outside  the  courts.    The  key  to  creating  a  better  water  governance  structure  is  recognition  and  implementation  of  Aboriginal  title  and  rights,  negotiating  solutions  to  public  policy  challenges  directly  with  First  Nations  on  a  government-­to-­government  basis,  and  developing  legislation  and  regulations  in  collaboration  with  First  Nations.  This  would  result  in  less  conflict  and  more  certainty.71  Reliance  on  industry  to  self-­regulate  –  Some  respondents  warned  that  industry  should  not  be  relied  upon  to  set  objectives  regarding  water  quality.    [The  Chair]  raised  concerns  as  to  the  reliance  of  government  upon  industry  to  set  standards  with  regards  to  water  quality  rather  than  conducting  independent  assessments.72    Reliance  on  desktop  assessment  –  Several  respondents  were  concerned  that  the  province’s  proposal  to  rely  on  desktop  assessments  in  the  allocation  of  water  permits  would  not  provide  sufficient  accuracy  for  current  conditions  or  allow  consideration  of  traditional  knowledge.    This  simplified  desktop  approach  will  not  ensure  that  traditional  knowledge  and  use  information  is  reviewed  and  integrated  into  the  needs  assessment.73  Instead  of  a  simple  desktop  assessment,  a  detailed  assessment  was  proposed  by  many  First  Nations  for  larger  or  more  complex  projects  requiring  a  water  license.    3.5  Summary  of  First  Nations  Interests  in  Water  Governance    Many  respondents  indicated  not  only  an  interest  in  but  also  a  need  for  First  Nations  participation  in  governing  water  resources  in  their  traditional  territories.  This  section  summarizes  key  themes  observed  among  the  responses.  3.5.1  Perspectives  in  Management  and  Shared  Decision-­Making  At  a  very  minimum,  the  Province  should  engage  in  shared  decision-­making  with  respect  to  these  issues.74                                                                                           70  Dene  Tha’  First  Nation,  2013,  p.  11.  71  First  Nations  Summit,  2010,  p.  11.  72  First  Nations  Women  Advocating  Responsible  Mining,  2010,  p.  7.  73  Dene  Tha’  First  Nation,  2013,  p.  7.  74  BCAFN,  2013,  p.  23.       24 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   Many  First  Nations  detailed  their  collective  responsibility  to  care  for  their  lands  and  waters,  often  describing  it  as  a  stewardship  responsibility.  Many  expressed  the  need  for  direct  involvement  of  First  Nations  in  all  decisions  impacting  their  lands  and  resources,  particularly  in  the  development  of  legislation  and  regulations.    The  four  provincial/territorial  organizations  (see  Appendix  A  for  a  list)  further  specified  support  for  First  Nations  involvement  both  at  the  local  operational  level  and  at  a  strategic  planning  and  decision-­making  level.  In  addition,  because  of  their  relationship  with  their  lands  and  water,  a  number  of  respondents  noted  the  need  for  traditional  knowledge  to  inform  various  aspects  of  the  water  governance  tools  proposed  in  the  new  act,  such  as  environmental  flow  needs  and  water  objectives.    The  Act  must  be  updated  to  reflect  the  unique  and  cultural  interests  that  First  Nations  have  with  water,  and  to  promote  the  use  of  traditional  knowledge  in  water  stewardship  and  decision-­making.75    Beyond  the  inclusion  of  traditional  knowledge,  however,  several  First  Nations  indicated  that  greater  consultation  with  First  Nations  in  general  would  be  necessary  in  defining  specific  regulatory  and  management  objectives  of  the  Water  Sustainability  Act,  notably  the  following  (see  previous  section  for  detailed  concerns):    •   Environmental  flow  needs  •   Water  objectives  •   Area-­based  regulations  and  water  sustainability  plans  •   Agricultural  water  reserves  •   Beneficial  use  requirements  •   Duration  of  licenses  and  reviews  •   Temporary  water  reduction  orders  •   Delegated  decision  making  •   Groundwater  regulations.  Finally,  several  respondents  noted  that  water  is  a  shared  responsibility  and  emphasized  the  need  for  multilateral  engagement  with  all  levels  of  government,  particularly  First  Nations  governments,  along  with  participation  from  industry  and  local  communities.  The  Province  must  pursue  a  strategy  with  First  Nations,  and  the  federal  government  and  industry,  that  promotes  and  supports  the  ability  of  First  Nations  to  be  full  participants  in  watershed  protection  planning  and  implementation,  and  decision-­making  over  land  and  resource  use.76    3.5.2  Perspectives  on  Advancing  the  New  Act    Despite  the  clear  frustration  expressed  in  their  submissions,  and  the  lack  of  meaningful  engagement  between  the  province  and  First  Nations,  many  respondents  were  deeply  interested  in  pursuing  change  and  offered  several  key  messages  to  help  British                                                                                           75  First  Nations  Summit,  2010,  p.  1.  76  Ibid,  p.  1       25 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   Columbia  better  engage  First  Nations  in  developing  improved  water  management  practices.  The  following  suggestions  are  in  no  particular  order:    •   Recognize  First  Nations  priority  use  of  water  related  to  Aboriginal  rights  and  title.  •   Negotiate  solutions  and  consult  directly  with  First  Nations  on  a  government-­to-­government  basis.  •   Develop  legislation  and  regulations  in  collaboration  with  First  Nations,  including  working  with  First  Nations  to  define  priority  and  beneficial  water  uses  and  establishing  critical  thresholds  and  environmental  flow  needs.  •   Distribute  all  water  monitoring  and  reporting  to  affected  First  Nations  governments.    •   Create  a  more  accessible  dispute  resolution  mechanism  to  resolve  water  conflicts  (rather  than  the  Environmental  Appeal  Board).  •   Complete  an  inventory  of  groundwater  resources.  •   Establish  a  First  Nations  technical  working  group  comprising  regional  representatives  and  ensuring  gender  equity.77  •   Practice  shared  and  delegated  water  governance  with  First  Nations  that  includes  Aboriginal  systems  of  knowledge.  •   Recognize  First  Nations  traditional  laws  in  the  management  of  water  resources  in  their  respective  territories.  •   Establish  a  reciprocal  consultation  process  with  First  Nations  to  promote  effective  participation  in  water  governance.  •   Honour  fiduciary  responsibilities  of  the  Crown  to  ensure  that  First  Nations  are  afforded  the  opportunity  to  participate  equally  in  the  planning,  management,  and  governance  of  water  resources.  •   Work  directly  with  First  Nations  to  ensure  that  their  communities  have  access  to  sufficient  water  resources  to  meet  current  and  future  demands.    •   Reject  new  applications  for  watercourses  that  are  already  oversubscribed,  and  work  with  local  communities  to  identify  watercourses  that  are  at  risk.  •   Adhere  to  the  principles  outlined  in  the  New  Relationship  Accord  and  the  United  Nations  Declaration  on  the  Rights  of  Indigenous  Peoples.                                                                                                  77  First  Nations  Women  Advocating  Responsible  Mining,  2010.       26 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   4. FROM PARTICIPANT TO PARTNER  4.1  Consultation:  A  Legal  Duty  or  a  Missed  Opportunity?  In  soliciting  feedback  on  proposed  changes  to  the  Water  Sustainability  Act,  the  Province  of  British  Columbia  initiated  a  public  engagement  process  and  invited  members  of  the  public,  interest  groups,  stakeholders,  and  First  Nations  to  participate.  This  process  was  challenging  in  part  because  First  Nations  are  neither  an  “interest  group”  nor  a  stakeholder.  Rather,  they  have  constitutionally  recognized  –  though  undefined  –  rights  that  have  been  acknowledged  and  affirmed  by  law.    Aside  from  a  handful  of  public  information  workshops,  no  resources  were  provided  to  meaningfully  engage  First  Nations  in  the  review  and  discussion  of  the  proposed  changes  to  the  legislation.  This  represents  not  only  a  dereliction  of  the  Crown’s  responsibilities  but,  perhaps  much  more  significant,  a  missed  opportunity  to  build  a  stronger  relationship  with  Aboriginal  peoples  in  British  Columbia.  This  is  particularly  disappointing  in  light  of  the  fact  that  several  respondents  expressed  their  appreciation  for  the  proactive  approach  to  engage  First  Nations  in  the  discussion  of  water-­related  issues  in  the  first  round  of  input  gathering.  Many  others  welcomed  the  opportunity  to  work  with  the  province  to  shape  the  legislation  to  reflect  the  interests  and  values  of  First  Nations  as  well  as  the  new  legal  realities  surrounding  resource  management.  One  organization  called  it  a  “precursor”78  to  the  government’s  engagement  with  First  Nations  via  the  consultation  process,  while  the  BC  Assembly  of  First  Nations  extended  a  direct  offer  to  help  develop  a  consultation  process  for  engaging  meaningfully  with  First  Nations  across  the  province.    Over  the  course  of  the  consultation  period  for  all  three  discussion  papers,  there  was  a  distinct  change  in  the  tone  of  submissions.  Initial  responses  to  the  first  discussion  paper  often  welcomed  improvements  over  the  earlier  Water  Act,  whereas  submissions  pertaining  to  the  legislative  proposal  were  distinctly  litigious  in  tone,  with  several  referring  to  the  legal  risk  of  excluding  First  Nations  from  meaningful  consultation.    By  treating  First  Nations  as  just  another  stakeholder,  the  province  has  not  only  perpetuated  a  relationship  “based  on  conflict  rather  than  mutual  respect  and  cooperation”79  but  also  missed  an  immense  opportunity  to  better  understand  the  water  systems  it  is  working  to  manage,  and  to  take  positive  steps  towards  meaningful  collaboration  and  co-­governance  arrangements.    Because  of  their  relationship  with  their  lands  and  water,  First  Nations  have  considerable  knowledge  about  their  water  systems.  As  suggested  by  many  of  the  respondents,  and  increasingly  recognized  by  ecosystem  scientists  and  environmental  managers  as  a  best                                                                                           78  Ibid.  79  First  Nations  Summit,  2010,  p.  8.       27 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   practice,80  traditional  knowledge  can  help  inform  the  development  of  appropriate  site-­specific  water  objectives,  including  critical  thresholds,  environmental  flow  needs,  and  sustainable  water  allocation  plans.  Finally,  after  receiving  the  submissions  in  Stage  1,  the  province  drafted  a  Report  on  Engagement,  a  summary  of  all  submissions  received  for  the  first  discussion  paper.  This  report  does  not  distinguish  First  Nations  rights  and  interests  from  that  of  public  stakeholders.  From  reviewing  this  report,  it  is  not  clear  how  the  province  chose  to  incorporate  First  Nations  submissions  into  its  changing  legislative  framework,  if  at  all.  Indeed,  a  thorough  review  of  the  submissions  relative  to  outcomes,  conducted  by  other  researchers  at  the  University  of  British  Columbia’s  Program  on  Water  Governance  (Jollymore  et  al.,  2016),  demonstrates  that  the  policies  advocated  in  most  of  the  submissions,  including  those  from  First  Nations,  do  not  align  with  many  of  the  outcomes  in  the  Water  Sustainability  Act.  This  was  particularly  true  for  policies  related  to  water  licensing,  in  which  status  quo  approaches  were  maintained,  in  accordance  with  the  preferences  of  industry  respondents  (even  though  they  were  a  clear  minority  in  terms  of  numbers  of  submissions).  The  Report  on  Engagement  and  subsequent  discussion  papers  provided  limited  information  on  how  such  policy  decisions  were  made,  or  how  First  Nations’  submissions  (among  others)  were  drawn  upon  to  inform  those  decisions.    Without  meaningful  and  direct  Nation-­to-­Nation  engagement  with  BC  First  Nations,  the  province  risks  being  confronted  with  legal  challenges  associated  with  water  licenses  issued  in  their  traditional  territories;;  more  fundamentally,  this  erodes  the  basic  foundation  for  creating  a  partnership  with  Aboriginal  peoples  that  had  been  set  out  in  the  constitutional  entrenchment  of  Aboriginal  rights  and  title.  These  circumstances  can  significantly  affect  how  successful  the  implementation  of  new  policies  and  regulations  under  the  new  act  will  be.  4.2  The  Water  Sustainability  Act’s  Potential  Impact  on  First  Nations  From  the  submissions  overall,  it  is  clear  that  the  duty  to  consult  was  not  perceived  by  First  Nations  as  simply  a  matter  of  legal  obligation  or  procedural  requirement  owed  by  the  Crown.  Rather,  First  Nations  respondents  clearly  expressed  the  need  for  meaningful  consultation  because  of  the  significance  of  the  proposed  changes  to  the  outdated  Water  Act  and  their  potential  to  affect  Aboriginal  rights  and  title.  First  Nations  depend  on  access  to  clean,  safe  water  for  their  lives  and  livelihoods.  Poor  water  quality,  degraded  aquatic  habitat,  or  even  reduced  access  to  water  affect,  or  have  the  potential  to  affect,  the  ability  of  Aboriginal  peoples  to  fish,  hunt,  and  harvest  country  foods  and  traditional  medicines.  In  other  words,  they  impact  constitutionally  protected  Aboriginal  rights  and/or  title.  As  articulated  by  numerous  First  Nations  in  their  submissions,  it  is  of  utmost  importance  to  these  communities  who  decides  “what”  and  “how  much”  water  is  used  in  their  traditional  territories.  This  is  particularly  the  case  given  the  structural  inequities  built  into  the  “first-­in-­time,  first-­in-­right”  (FITFIR)  regime.                                                                                           80  For  more  information  on  best  practices,  see  research  by  Berkes  (1989,  1999);;  Binder  and  Hanbridge  (1993);;  Moller  et  al.  (2004);;  Pinkerton  (1989,  1998).       28 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   4.3  Recommendations  for  Advancing  the  Act  with  First  Nations    The  suite  of  tools  identified  in  BC’s  new  Water  Sustainability  Act  offers  new  opportunities  for  First  Nations  to  engage  in  water  management  and  governance  in  the  province.  However,  based  on  First  Nations’  responses  to  proposed  changes  and  to  the  public  engagement  process,  it  is  evident  that  core  tensions  and  key  barriers  persist  and  need  to  be  addressed  in  order  to  facilitate  meaningful  First  Nations  participation  in  water  governance.  Indeed,  this  is  consistent  with  research  emerging  from  legal  and  water  scholarship  research.81  Advancing  the  new  act  with  First  Nations  participation  will  require:  (1)  investment  of  time  and  resources  in  building  the  relationship;;  (2)  working  with  First  Nations  to  redefine  roles  and  responsibilities;;  and  (3)  exploring,  in  partnership  with  First  Nations,  practical  and  appropriate  tools  and  mechanisms  to  facilitate  First  Nations  engagement  and  participation.  4.3.1  Rebuilding  the  Relationship  As  explored  above,  the  Province  of  British  Columbia  and  the  BC  First  Nations  entered  into  a  “New  Relationship”  in  2005,  with  a  vision  of  improving  government-­to-­government  relations.  This  embodied,  in  part,  the  recognition  that  governments  in  Canada  have  constitutional  and  legal  obligations  to  Indigenous  peoples  in  this  country.  Although  the  New  Relationship  framework  can  help  guide  the  relationship,  it  is  clear  that  it  alone  is  insufficient  to  create  the  durable  working  relationships  between  governments  that  are  necessary  for  consultation  on  key  issues  such  as  the  modernization  of  the  Water  Act.  There  is  no  clear  or  easy  way  for  the  province  to  meet  the  minimum  legal  requirements  to  consult  203  individual  First  Nations  in  a  meaningful  way  within  existing  resource  and  capacity  constraints,  yet  resource  and  capacity  limitations  should  no  longer  preclude  First  Nations  participation  in  shared  governance  or  management  decisions.  This  is  particularly  true  when  these  decisions,  such  as  legislative  and  regulatory  changes  to  the  Water  Act,  have  significant  potential  to  impact  First  Nations  lands,  resources,  rights,  title,  health,  and  well-­being.  Thus,  while  the  spirit  and  intent  of  the  New  Relationship  may  be  considered  an  important  first  step,  additional  measures  need  to  be  explored,  not  only  to  advance  the  vision  of  the  New  Relationship  alongside  the  government’s  constitutional  and  legal  obligations  but  also  to  ensure  that  First  Nations  have  a  meaningful  role  in  water  governance.  Notably,  some  such  measures  have  recently  emerged.  A  number  of  First  Nations  and  Tribal  Councils  have  entered  into  negotiated  agreements  with  the  province  –  Strategic  Engagement  Agreements  (SEA)  –  that  set  out  a  mutually  agreed  upon  framework  for  consultation  and  accommodation  (Province  of  British  Columbia,  n.d.),  and  Reconciliation  Protocols  (RP),  which  represent  an  incremental  step  towards  reconciling  First  Nations  and  Crown  title  and  a  framework  for  joint  decision  making  concerning  lands  and  resources  (Kunst’aa  Guu,  2009).  However,  although  these  types  of                                                                                           81  See  research  by  Brandes  and  Curran  (2009);;  Brandes  and  O'Riordan  (2014);;  Simms  et  al.  (2016);;  and  von  der  Porten  and  de  Loë  (2013a,  2013b).       29 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   agreements  help  create  the  conditions  for  collaboration  while  acknowledging  core  differences,  they  do  not  attempt  to  resolve  underlying  issues  regarding  jurisdiction  (Griggs  and  Dunsby,  2015).  Further,  these  agreements  are  relatively  new  and  it  remains  to  be  seen  whether  they  merit  additional  investment  and  broader  uptake  among  First  Nations  (ibid.).      4.3.2  Defining  First  Nations  Role  in  Shared  Water  Governance  First  Nations  clearly  need  to  have  a  greater  role  in  deciding  how  lands  and  resources  are  used  and  who  benefits  from  their  use.  The  unique  water  needs,  interests,  and  rights  of  Indigenous  peoples  described  in  the  submissions  suggest  that  the  province’s  Internet-­based  submission  approach  is  unsatisfactory  and  that  a  different  approach  is  needed  (such  as  in-­person  consultation  or  funding  for  opportunities  to  engage  in  a  meaningful  way)  to  clearly  articulate  the  role  that  First  Nations  want  to  play  in  water  management  and  governance  in  British  Columbia.  In  addition,  greater  emphasis  has  been  placed  more  recently  on  collaborative  approaches  with  First  Nations.  Both  collaboration  and  First  Nations  participation  are  described  as  “winning”  conditions  for  fostering  successful  watershed  governance  (Brandes  and  O’Riordan,  2014).  However,  the  cultural  and  geographic  diversity  of  First  Nations  in  BC  –  together  with  their  individual  relationships  with  the  local,  provincial,  and  federal  governments,  unique  water  needs  and  interests,  and  locally  available  capacity  and  resources  –  indicate  that  there  cannot  be  a  prescriptive,  one-­size-­fits-­all  approach.  There  may  be  common  elements  among  First  Nations  interests  in  water  governance,  but  this  needs  to  be  explored  on  a  province-­wide  scale  and  in  collaboration  with  First  Nations  governments  and  organizations  in  order  to  help  shape  and  define  specifically  what  their  role  should  be  and  what  structures  and  processes  are  needed  to  facilitate  this  collaborative  approach.    4.3.3  Identifying  Tools  to  Support  First  Nations  Participation  Identifying  the  full  suite  of  legal  and  policy  tools  available  to  support  First  Nations  participation  in  water  governance  will  entail  a  critical  analysis  of  the  new  Water  Sustainability  Act  combined  with  a  comprehensive  review  of  First  Nations  water  governance  initiatives  and  relevant  legal  analysis  –  all  of  which  is  beyond  the  scope  of  this  report.  However,  within  the  submissions,  a  number  of  respondents  identified  specific  initiatives  and  potential  tools  or  mechanisms  that  could  support  First  Nations  participation  in  water  management  and  governance.  These  merit  further  review  for  future  research.  They  include:  •   Development  of  a  province-­wide  First  Nations  technical  group  to  advise  the  province  on  water-­related  matters  •   Development  of  a  province-­wide  Elders  Council  to  guide  water  governance  in  First  Nations  traditional  territories  •   Development  of  alternative  dispute  resolution  mechanisms  to  resolve  water  conflicts       30 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   •   Completion  of  a  province-­wide  inventory  of  First  Nations  water  stewardship  initiatives,  water  rights  and  interests,  and  water  laws  (traditional  or  contemporary).      Additional  initiatives  might  include  applying  the  suite  of  new  governance  tools  set  out  in  the  Water  Sustainability  Act,  such  as  developing  new  approaches  for  shared  and/or  delegated  water  governance  with  First  Nations.  Indeed,  co-­governance  with  First  Nations  has  been  described  as  a  “necessary  condition  for  success”  in  water  governance  (Brandes  and  O’Riordan,  2014,  p.  37).  Co-­governance  can  help  address  some  of  the  core  tensions  by  creating  the  framework  for  the  province  and  First  Nations  to  define  and  agree  on  the  process  for  shared  responsibility  over  water  resources  (Simms  et  al.,  2016).  Of  course  the  development  and  application  of  new  tools,  mechanisms,  and  initiatives  is  dependent  on  the  resources  available  to  support  it.  Identifying  sustainable  funding  streams  will  be  necessary  to  ensure  First  Nations  participation  in  water  governance  both  today  and  in  the  future  (Brandes  et  al.,  2016).    4.3.4  Affirming  and  Incorporating  Indigenous  Water  Law  Prior  to  the  establishment  of  settler  colonial  governments,  Canada’s  Indigenous  peoples  were  sovereign  and  self-­governing,  using  their  laws  to  manage  the  people  living  within  or  moving  through  their  traditional  territories.  Rooted  in  social,  spiritual,  and  political  values,  these  laws  reflected  the  teachings  and  knowledge  of  respected  individuals  and  leaders  within  the  community  (Borrows,  2002,  2010;;  Law  Commission  of  Canada,  2007;;  Simpson,  2004).  It  is  these  traditional  laws,  practices,  and  protocols,  together  with  Indigenous  peoples’  relationships  with  the  lands  and  resources,  that  form  the  basis  of  Indigenous  law  (which  is  prior  to  and  exceeds  colonial  state  power).  This  raises  our  final,  key  point:  the  need  to  engage  with  Indigenous  legal  orders  as  opposed  to  Aboriginal  law  (Borrows,  2002,  2010;;  Phare,  2009;;  Wilson,  2014).  Indigenous  law  emphasizes  the  importance  of  the  distinction  between  inherent  rights  (based  on  historical,  reciprocal,  and  often  spiritual  as  well  as  material  relationships  between  Indigenous  peoples  and  water)  as  opposed  to  established  rights  (negotiated  or  defined  in  and  through  courts  and/or  treaties,  and  often  referred  to  as  Aboriginal  rights)  (Borrows  2002,  2010).  Some  Indigenous  communities  in  British  Columbia  have  taken  the  initiative  in  developing  policies  for  resource  governance  in  their  traditional  territories.  In  many  instances,  these  policies  embody  principles  that  flow  from  Indigenous  law  (e.g.,  role  as  stewards  of  the  land;;  environmental  regulations  consistent  with  traditional  laws)  and  imply  new,  practical  regulations  (e.g.,  Aboriginal  base  flows).  Engaging  with  Indigenous  water  law  in  the  ongoing  process  of  rule  making  following  passage  of  the  Water  Sustainability  Act  offers,  we  suggest,  a  means  of  fulfilling  the  government’s  obligations  of  meaningful  reconciliation  –  as  well  as  an  important  avenue  for  deepening  the  sustainability  of  British  Columbia’s  approach  to  water  governance.    4.3.5  Future  opportunities  Clearly  there  is  a  role  for  First  Nations  in  water  allocation  and  management  decisions.  First  Nations  have  not  only  unique  interests  with  respect  to  water  but  also  constitutionally  protected  rights  to  access  water  for  the  pursuit  of  cultural  activities.  The       31 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   evolution  of  traditional  practices,  within  the  legal  context,  suggests  that  an  existing  or  potential  right  to  resource  use  might  also  apply  to  a  range  of  contemporary  water  uses,  including  water  for  drinking,  irrigating  fields,  transportation,  and  access  for  fishing,  hunting,  and  trapping,  and  for  harvesting  of  other  plants  and  animals.  And  contemporary  water  use  signals  the  need  for  greater  involvement  in  management  and  decision  making.    In  addition  to  protected  Aboriginal  rights  and  title,  the  relatively  recent  ruling  from  the  Supreme  Court  of  Canada  provides  some  insight  into  the  role  that  Aboriginal  peoples  have  in  managing  water  resources  within  their  traditional  territories,  and  surface  and  ground  water  in  reserve  and  titled  lands.  This  decision,  Tsilhqot’in,  significantly  improves  opportunities  for  First  Nations  to  advance  their  Aboriginal  rights  and  title  in  a  manner  that  reflects  their  vision,  values,  and  perspectives  (Mandell  Pinder  LLP,  2014).  It  enables  Indigenous  laws  and  protocols  to  maintain  control  over  their  lands  and  resources,  suggesting  a  new  role  in  managing  water  resources  in  traditional  territories.    Finally,  First  Nations  intimately  know  their  lands  and  water  resources  and  can  contribute  rich  and  nuanced  information  on  how  to  manage  them  in  a  sustainable  manner  that  respects  Indigenous  laws  and  traditions.  It  is  this  knowledge,  together  with  constitutionally  protected  rights,  that  can  transform  First  Nations  from  participants  to  partners  in  water  management  and  governance.  Whether  this  new  partnership  implies  shared  management  and  decision  making  within  co-­governance  arrangements  is  yet  to  be  seen.  What  is  clear  is  that  –  backed  by  the  enabling  powers  of  the  Tsilhqot’in  decision  and  the  new  provisions  in  the  Water  Sustainability  Act  –  First  Nations  have  perhaps  never  been  better  positioned  to  define  and  shape  their  role  in  water  management  and  governance  in  the  province  of  British  Columbia.              32 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   APPENDIX: LIST OF SUBMISSIONS Table  1.  First  Nations  respondents  to  the  public  blog  between  2010  and  2013.    Respondent   Type   Location   Response  to  Discussion  Papers           1   2   3  BC  Assembly  of  First  Nations  PTO   Lower  Mainland   X      X  Cheslatta  Carrier  Nation   Nation   Burns  Lake         X  Cold  Water  Indian  Band   Nation   Merritt   X        Cowichan  Tribes   Tribal  Association  Duncan   X      X  Dene-­Tha  First  Nation   Nation   Alberta         X  Ditidaht  First  Nation   Nation   Port  Alberni         X  First  Nations  Environmental  Network  Organization   Tofino         X  First  Nations  Fisheries  Council  Organization   Lower  Mainland   X      X  First  Nations  Leadership  Council  PTO   Lower  Mainland      X   X  First  Nations  Summit   PTO   Lower  Mainland   X      X  First  Nations  Women  Advocating  Responsible  Mining  Organization   Northern  BC   X        Fort  Nelson  First  Nation   Nation   Fort  Nelson         X  Haisla  Nation   Nation   Kitimat   X   X     Kekinusuqs  (Dr.  Judith  Sayers)  Individual   Vancouver  Island   X   X   X  Lower  Similkameen  Indian  Band  Nation   Keremeos         X  McLeod  Lake  Indian  Band  Nation   McLeod  Lake         X  Namgis  First  Nation   Nation   Alert  Bay         X  Okanagan  Nation  Alliance  Tribal  Association  Interior  BC   X      X  Pacheedaht  First  Nation   Nation   Port  Renfrew         X  P’egp’ig’lha  Council   Tribal  Association  Lillooet         X  Saulteau  First  Nation   Nation   Chetwynd         X  Shellene,  Paul   Individual   Lower  Mainland         X  Shishalh  (Sechelt)  First  Nation  Nation   Sechelt         X       33 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   Respondent   Type   Location   Response  to  Discussion  Papers  Shuswap  Nation  Tribal  Council  Tribal  Association  Kamloops         X  Skwxwu7mesh-­Uxwumixw  (Squamish)  First  Nation  Nation   Lower  Mainland         X  Sliammon  First  Nation   Nation   Powell  River         X  St’at’imc  Chiefs  Council   Tribal  Association  Lillooet      X     Sto:lo  Tribal  Council   Tribal  Association  Fraser  Valley   X        Tla-­o-­qui-­aht  First  Nation   Nation   Tofino      X     Treaty  8  Tribal  Association  Tribal  Association  Northern  BC   X        Tsawout  First  Nation   Nation   Saanichton   X   X     Tseshaht  First  Nation   Nation   Port  Alberni      X     Union  of  BC  Indian  Chiefs    PTO   Lower  Mainland   X   X   X  Wetsuweten   Nation      X        TOTAL         14   8   24  Notes:    1.  The  information  provided  in  the  table  is  derived  from  the  submissions  under  the  “First  Nation”  category  during  Stages  1,  2,  and  3  of  the  public  engagement  blog  hosted  by  the  BC  Ministry  of  Environment,  https://engage.gov.bc.ca/watersustainabilityact/what-­weve-­heard-­2/  (last  accessed,  May  31,  2016).  2.  PTO  =  Provincial  Territorial  Organization.                 34 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   REFERENCES  Berkes,  F.  (1989).  Common  property  resources:  Ecology  and  community-­based  sustainable  development.  London:  Belhaven  Press.    —.  (1999).  Sacred  ecology:  Traditional  ecological  knowledge  and  resource  management.  Philadelphia:  Taylor  &  Francis.    Binder,  L.N..  &  Hanbidge,  B.  (1993).  “Aboriginal  people  and  resource  co-­management:  The  Inuvialuit  of  the  Western  Arctic  and  resource  co-­management  under  a  land  claims  settlement.”  In  J.T.  Inglis  (Ed.),  Traditional  ecological  knowledge:  Concepts  and  cases  (pp.  121-­132).  Ottawa:  Canadian  Museum  of  Nature.    Borrows,  J.  (2002).  Recovering  Canada:  The  resurgence  of 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 &  Newman,  D.  (2014).  “Tsilhqot’in  brings  Canada  to  the  table.”  Globe  and  Mail,  September  11.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/tsilhqotin-­brings-­canada-­to-­the-­table/article20521526/    Coldwater  Indian  Band.  (2010).  “Water  Act  modernization.”  Submission  letter  to  the  BC  Ministry  of  Environment,  Water  Stewardship  Division.  April  29,  2010.  Unpublished.  https://engage.gov.bc.ca/watersustainabilityact/files/2013/10/Coldwater-­Indian-­Band2.pdf    Constitution  Act,  1982,  being  Schedule  B  to  the  Canada  Act  1982  (U.K.),  1982,  c.  11.  http://laws-­lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-­16.html    Cowichan  Tribes.  (2010).  “Water  Act  modernization.”  Submission  letter  to  the  BC  Ministry  of  Environment,  Water  Stewardship  Division.  June  3,  2010.  Unpublished.  https://engage.gov.bc.ca/watersustainabilityact/files/2013/10/Cowichan-­Tribes.pdf    —.  (2013).  “Water  Act  modernization.”  Submission  letter  to  the  BC 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 sustainability  process.”  Submission  letter  to  the  Ministry  of  the  Environment,  Water  Protection  and  Sustainability  Branch.  November  9,  2013.  Unpublished.    https://engage.gov.bc.ca/watersustainabilityact/files/2013/11/First-­Nations-­Environmental-­Network.pdf       36 INSTITUTE FOR RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   First  Nations  Fisheries  Council.  (2010).  “Water  Act  modernization.”  Submission  letter  to  the  Ministry  of  the  Environment,  Water  Protection  and  Sustainability  Branch.  April  30,  2010.  Unpublished.  https://engage.gov.bc.ca/watersustainabilityact/files/2013/10/First-­Nations-­Fisheries-­Council.pdf    —.  (2013).  “Proposed  Water  Sustainability  Act  legislative  proposal.”  Submission  letter  to  the  Ministry  of  the  Environment,  Water  Protection  and  Sustainability  Branch.  December  2,  2013.  Unpublished.   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RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA   Griggs,  J.,  &  Dunsby,  J.  (2015).  Step  by  step:  Final  report  for  the  Shared  Decision  Making  in  BC  project.  Burnaby,  BC:  Simon  Fraser  University  Centre  for  Dialogue.      Guerin  v.  The  Queen,  [1984]  2  SCR  335.  http://scc-­csc.lexum.com/scc-­csc/scc-­csc/en/item/2495/index.do    Haida  Nation  v.  British  Columbia  (Minister  of  Forests),  [2004]  3  SCR  511.  https://scc-­csc.lexum.com/scc-­csc/scc-­csc/en/item/2189/index.do    Haisla  Nation  Council.  (2011).  “Response  to  policy  proposal  on  WSA.”  Submission  letter  to  the  BC  Ministry  of  Environment,  Water  Stewardship  Division.  March  14,  2011.  Unpublished.  https://engage.gov.bc.ca/watersustainabilityact/files/2013/10/Haisla-­Nation-­Council.pdf    Hupacasath  First  Nation  v.  The  Minister  of  Foreign  Affairs  Canada  and  The  Attorney  General  of  Canada,  2015  FCA  4,  FCA.      Indigenous  and 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