Advisory Board





Dr. Peter Brown

Professor, McGill University



Dr. Kiera Ladner

Professor, McGill University



Francois Paulette

Dechinta Centre for Research & Learning



Dr. Nancy Turner

Distinguished Professor, University of Victoria



Working Group Chairs





Caleb Behn

Lawyer, Activist



Dr. John Borrows

Professor, University of Victoria



Dr. Carrie Bourassa

Professor, Health Sciences Research Institute



Dr. Erin Freeland-Ballantyne

Director, Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning





Dr. Kate Neville

Assistant Professor, University of Toronto



Team Members





Hannah Askew

Staff Counsel, West Coast Environmental Law




Dr. Rutgerd Boelens

Associate Professor, Wageningen University



Dr. John Borrows

Professor, University of Victoria



Dr. Carrie Bourassa

Professor, First Nations University of Canada




Dr. Gordon Christie

Associate Professor, University of British Columbia



Dr. Alice Cohen

Assistant Professor, Acadia University



Dr. Glen Coulthard

Associate Professor, University of British Columbia



Dr. Aimée Craft

Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba




Dr. Michelle Daigle

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of British Columbia



Dr. Erin Freeland-Ballantyne

Director, Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning



Dr. Leila Harris

Associate Professor, University of British Columbia



Dr. Mark Johnson

Associate Professor, University of British Columbia




Dr. Daniel Justice

Professor, University of British Columbia



Dr. Linc Kesler

Associate Professor, University of British Columbia



Dr. Rosemary Knight

Professor, Stanford University



Dr. Madjid Mohseni

Professor, University of British Columbia




Dr. Kate Neville

Assistant Professor, University of Toronto



Dr. Emma Norman

Assistant Professor, Northwest Indian College



Linda Nowlan

Staff Counsel,  West Coast Environmental Law




Dr. Avner Vengosh

Professor, Duke University




Dr. Erika Weinthal

Professor, Duke University



Dr. Rita Wong

Associate Professor, Emily Carr







Meggan Jacobson

After immigrating to Canada from South Africa when she was nine, Meggan grew up on the unceded territory of the Skwxwu7mesh, Tsleil-Waututh, and Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm in North Vancouver. She has a bachelor's degree in Human Geography with a minor in First Nations and Indigenous Studies from UBC. She has also completed an associate degree in Global Stewardship from Capilano University. Meggan is passionate about environmental justice on a local and global scale and is excited to be working with the Decolonizing Water Project.


Shelby Leslie

Shelby grew up in Ontario where he spent many years canoeing its' rivers and lakes a guide for youth leadership development programs. For the past 10 years, Shelby has worked as a first aid attendant, logistical coordinator and project manager, specializing in remote access industrial work sites across Canada. He now lives in Vancouver with his partner and their two young children.


Kelsey Wrighton

Kelsey Wrightson is a non-Indigenous scholar from Treaty 6 territories, who has been living and working on the unceded territories of Coast and Strait Salish peoples for more than a decade. She received a PhD in Political Science from UBC in 2015. Her work looked at the role of museums and artists practice in supporting resurgent decolonization. She is has been the research manager from the Decolonizing Water Project from April 2016.







Mallory Amirault

Mallory Amirault is an outspoken Acadian Mi'kmaq performance artist, unrestrained by political and social structures. At her core, she is concerned with issues of marginalization, agency and Indigenous resurgence. Born in Nova Scotia, Amirault is currently a fourth year student in the field of Critical and Cultural Practices at Emily Carr University.


Rachel Arsenault

Rachel is a Master's student at Laurentian University in the Masters of Indigenous Relations program. The draft title of her thesis is Recommendations Towards Eliminating Boil Water Advisories in First Nation Communities in Ontario Using an Indigenous Oriented Approach. She currently work with the Indigenous Research Methods Working Group on Indigenous Water Governance in collaboration with the University of British Columbia and the Health Sciences North Research Institute. She have been a technician for the Ontario First Nations Young People's Council for the past two years and looks forward to advocating for another great cause in the year(s) to come: Indigenous rights to and governance of water.


Lindsay Borrows

Lindsay is Anishinaabe and a member of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation in Ontario. Her home reserve is located on Georgian Bay, and she grew up around people who love water. To develop her relationship with water she participates in water ceremonies, has worked on a birch-bark canoe building project, and regularly listens to her grandmother and great-aunt's teachings on water. She took a Water Law course during her law degree to understand Canadian legal conceptions of water. Lindsay is currently an articled student at West Coast Environmental Law and part of the Revitalizing Indigenous Laws for Land, Air and Water (RELAW) team. She is interested in law as an exercise of story-telling, and as a means to empower people to live a good life.


Quill Christie

Quill Christie is an Anishinaabekwe arts programmer and self-taught artist currently residing in her hometown of Toronto. Her passion involves creating artistic programming for Indigenous youth from a radically relational praxis that allows youth to reclaim relationships to self, homeland, ancestors and community. She currently works within the public programming and curatorial departments at the Art Gallery of Ontario where she is developing and facilitating programming for native youth. Quill is also a Masters Candidate in the Indigenous Governance Program and holds a Bachelors degree in biology. She sits on the board of directors for Native Women in the Arts and will be running a collaborative arts-based program for Indigenous youth that centers on explorations of water governance in urban Toronto and wild ricing practices in Treaty 3. Quill is dedicated to the empowerment of Indigenous youth through artistic practice and her latest work will be featured in a forthcoming publication by Native Realities Press.


Lisa Girbav

Lisa Girbav is a third year UBC undergraduate student majoring in First Nations and Indigenous Studies, and has a business diploma in radio broadcasting from BCIT. She aims to apply her UBC education to her career in broadcasting and communications for the purpose of serving First Nations communities and organizations. Lisa comes from a mixed heritage of Tsimshian on her mothers side and Norwegian and Romanian on her fathers side. She grew up in the Tsimshian territory on the northwest coast in the city of Prince Rupert. Lisa acknowledges that she is currently an uninvited guest on the traditional, ancestral and unceded land of the Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwu7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh people.


Mike Krebs

Mike Krebs (Fabris) is currently pursuing his PhD in Geography at UBC. He also completed his Masters in Geography at UBC, and has a Bachelor of Arts from SFU. His PhD research focuses on the role of land-based practice in the formation of Indigenous identity in urban and rural reserve environments. An Indigenous student of Blackfoot and European descent, Mike lives with his son on the unceded Skwxwu7mesh, Tsleil-Waututh, and Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm territories of Vancouver.


Melpatkwa Matthew

Melpatkwa Matthew is Secwepemc from the Simpcw Band. She is currently in her fourth year at UBC studying in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems in the Global Resource Systems Program. Melpatkwa is excited to be working on the Decolonizing Water Project. Being a Research Assistant enables them to challenge colonial ways of thinking and re-establish traditional knowledge and how it is applied to water systems. As the project progresses it is inspiring to witness how every element is being brought together that will decolonize water and empower Indigenous people with their water systems and rights.


Corey Snelgrove

Corey Snelgrove is currently a PhD Student at the University of British Columbia studying political theory and Canadian politics. His dissertation aims to disaggregate treaty and reconciliation by (1) recovering a critique of the concept of reconciliation informed by political economy in modern and anti-colonial political thought, and (2) elucidating the materiality of treaty (as movement and interpretation) historically and into the present. His previous research examined the entanglement of environmentalism (as knowledge and activism) and colonization on Lekwungen homelands in Victoria, BC.


Nicole J. Wilson

Nicole J. Wilson is a scholar of settler origin whose work examines Indigenous peoples' relationships to water and water governance in the context of colonialism, resource extraction and global environmental change, with an emphasis on Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of North America. She is presently a PhD Candidate at the University of British Columbia's Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability. Nicole is both a Vanier and Killam scholar. Her dissertation research focuses on First Nations and water governance in the context of modern land claim agreements in Yukon, Canada.


Sarah Zernitz

Sarah has a Bachelor in International Relations from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, and is a Master student of International Land and Water Management at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Growing up in this water abundant country sparked her interest and love for issues surrounding water. She is particularly interested in the political ecology of water and water justice. At this moment, she carries out her Master thesis research about the UNESCO mission to Wood Buffalo National Park.






This project is possible due to generous support from our partners.




We are grateful for funding support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.