Water Laws 

Quw’utsun, Tŝilhqot’in and Lower Similkameen

Description of the Projects

The Water Laws Project explores how Indigenous communities use water in the context of Indigenous and colonial water law. For this project, ILRU and the broader Water Laws Project team partnered with three Indigenous Nations: Cowichan Tribes, Tŝilhqot’in National Government, and the Lower Similkameen Indian Band. The project aims to research and articulate Quw’utsun, Tŝilhqot’in and syilx water governance laws. The outcome of this research includes a report and casebook on water law from the three different Indigenous legal orders. The project aims to inform collaborative initiatives towards watershed-based governance and planning that are beginning to address the reconciliation of Indigenous and colonial legal systems as well as stand up Quw’utsun, Tsilhqot’in and syilx water law for those Nations.

Community Partners 

Cowichan Tribes (see website: https://cowichantribes.com/), Tŝilhqot’in National Government (see website: https://www.tsilhqotin.ca/), and Lower Similkameen Indian Band (https://www.lsib.net/)


This project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Real Estate Foundation BC, Swift Foundation, McConnell Foundation, Law Foundation of British Columbia and the Indigenous Law Research Unit.


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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.