NłeɁképmx and Syilx Laws of Water and Watershed Governance

Funded by the Nicola Chiefs and the Province of British Columbia

The ILRU were invited by the chiefs of five NłeɁképmx and Syilx nations in the Nicola Valley (near Merritt, British Columbia) to articulate legal principles and processes that inform how communities use, care for, and address challenges concerning water. In this arid region, water is recognized as a sacred relation as well as precious resource. The research is supporting a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding between the Five Nicola Nations and the Province of British Columbia to collaboratively govern water in the Nicola Watershed according to both Indigenous laws and provincial legislation.  Engaging both NłeɁképmx and Syilx community-based researchers and knowledge-holders, we are creating a report, casebook, and linguistic analysis that integrate knowledge from legal traditions who have upheld lawful governance in the Nicola Watershed for countless generations.