Abstract

Indigenous communities in Canada are over-represented with respect to poor water quality and water advisories. To date, approaches to solve this water crisis have been founded in the Western Science (WS) context with little to no consultation or dialogue with those communities most impacted, and without regard for culture. A literature review was undertaken to: (i) document Indigenous Knowledge (IK), and perspectives regarding water and (ii) to identify current local water security tools utilized by Indigenous communities. The aim is to provide sound evidence regarding the value of ownership and leadership by Indigenous communities in the context of current and appropriate resources available to (re)claim these roles. Solutions must remain consistent with, and founded upon, traditional Indigenous worldviews and cultural values to ensure sustainable water security. Literature reviewed from the past ten years revealed one overarching creation theme with three water-specific themes in Indigenous communities; namely, water from natural sources, water as a life-giving entity, and water and gender. Ultimately, there needs to be a new framing of local water security with the development of tools which engage IK and WS in order to assess local water security and appropriately inform interventions, policies, regulations and legislation.

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