Denying the Source: The Crisis of First Nations Water Rights by Merrell-Ann Phare

Denying the Source: The Crisis of First Nations Water Rights

byMerrell-Ann Phare

Hardcover | October 6, 2009

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First Nations are facing some of the worst water crises in Canada and throughout North America. Their widespread lack of access to safe drinking water receives ongoing national media attention, and yet progress addressing the causes of the problem is painfully slow. First Nations have had little say in how their waters are, or are not, protected. They have been excluded from many important decisions, as provinces operate under the view that they own the water resources within provincial boundaries, and the federal government takes a hands-off approach.

The demands for access to waters that First Nations depend upon are intense and growing. Oil and gas, mining, ranching, farming and hydro-development all require enormous quantities of water, and each brings its own set of negative impacts to the rivers, lakes and groundwater sources that are critical to First Nations. Climate change threatens to make matters even worse.

Over the last 30 years, the courts have clarified that First Nations have numerous rights to land and resources, including the right to be involved in decision-making. This book is a call to respect the water rights of First Nations, and through this create a new water ethic in Canada and beyond.

About The Author

Merrell-Ann S. Phare is a member of the Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW), which published “Changing the Flow: A Blueprint for Federal Action on Freshwater.” She is also a legal advisor to the Assembly of First Nations regarding water matters. Merrell-Ann serves on numerous advisory committees and consultation bodies on behalf of th...
Denying the Source: The Crisis of First Nations Water Rights
Denying the Source: The Crisis of First Nations Water Rights

by Merrell-Ann Phare

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Ethical Water: Learning to Value What Matters Most
Ethical Water: Learning to Value What Matters Most

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Details & Specs

Title:Denying the Source: The Crisis of First Nations Water RightsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:112 pages, 7 × 4.5 × 0.25 inPublished:October 6, 2009Publisher:RMB | Rocky Mountain BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1897522614

ISBN - 13:9781897522615

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 "Aboriginal leadership needs to be informed about the precarious position they face if they do not understand and assert their right to water and how to do so. In this publication Merrell-Ann Phare makes an important contribution to the discussion of Aboriginal rights... Society ignores this issue and the arguments in this book at its peril."-- Justice Murray Sinclair, Chairperson, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada "Water is critical to the lives of all Canadians, and First Nations are no different. Yet, for too long we have been excluded from important discussions about the future of water in Canada and have been denied access to basic water security. We must protect water, and the ecosystems and peoples that depend upon it; First Nations, relying upon our water rights, should be front and centre in leading this charge. Denying the Source is an important and timely book urging us to begin this discussion . . . and we must, now."-- Phil Fontaine, former National Chief, Assembly of First Nations “In Denying the Source, Merrell-Ann Phare adroitly summarizes the many complex legal and ethical questions that have resulted in the water crisis facing Canada’s First Nations. She proposes that only immediate action to develop a new water ethic involving Indigenous Peoples, our waterways and the watersheds that flow to them, will ensure our freshwater supplies for the future, a proposal with which I fully agree.”-- Dr. David Schindler, Killam Memorial Professor of Ecology, University of Alberta "This book clearly elucidates the crucial importance of indigenous peoples' effective participation in decision-making processes, especially in matters related to the ownership, control and use of water found in their territories. The denial of indigenous peoples' inherent water rights since colonization up to the present, as this book illustrates in the Canadian context, is a common experience of most indigenous peoples in various parts of the world. Merrell-Ann Phare documents how the water rights of First Nations are being violated and provides good examples of successful negotiations on water issues between indigenous peoples in Canada and the US and the respective governments which other indigenous peoples can learn from."-- Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, (Kankana-ey Igorot, Philippines), Chairperson, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues "There are profound flaws in the foundation of water resources management legislation in Canada. At the heart of our problems is the longstanding failure to properly characterize the water and related rights of First Nations. In a manner both succinct and articulate, Merrell-Ann Phare explains why we will never achieve equity or sustainability unless these injustices are fairly addressed."-- Robert William Sandford, author of "Restoring the Flow: Confronting the World's Water Woes", "Water, Weather and the Mountain West" and "The Weekender Effect: Hyperdevelopment in Mountain Towns"; Chair, Canadian Partnership Initiative, United Nations Water for Life Decade