Scw’exmx and syilx law

in & for the Nicola Watershed

Description of the Project

The Indigenous Law Research Unit was invited by the chiefs of five NłeɁképmx and syilx nations in the Nicola Valley to articulate the common legal principles and processes that inform how their communities use, care for, and address challenges concerning water. Engaging both NłeɁképmx and syilx community-based researchers and knowledge-holders, the project produced a report and casebook that integrate knowledge from the legal orders that have upheld water governance in the Nicola Watershed for countless generations. The research supports the groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding between the Five Nicola Nations and the Province of British Columbia, which will collaboratively govern water in the Nicola Watershed according to both Indigenous laws and provincial legislation. 


Community Partners

Scw’exmx Tribal Council (see website: and Nicola Watershed Governance Partnership (see website:



This project was funded by Scw’exmx Tribal Council, the Nicola Watershed Governance Partnership, and Swift Foundation.


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The Kokum Raven images used on this site and in ILRU publications and merchandise are used with the artist, Val Napoleon’s permission.