|Critical Conversations on First Nations and the Right to Water|
Two years after the United Nations recognized clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right, Manitoba researchers led public discussions on the most effective ways to make that a reality for First Nations.
Many University of Manitoba researchers have work underway with First Nations on water issues, in partnership with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and other universities.
The seminar series Critical Conversations on First Nations and the Right to Water began September 10, 2012, and ran until March 2013. It gave researchers a chance to trade ideas and refine their research plans, with input from law and graduate students attending the seminars for credit.
In keeping with a new trend at leading universities towards open access courses, Manitobans were invited to attend all seminars in the series for free and course readings, seminar summaries and podcasts were posted online.
See a list of the completed seminars, which included:
On Jan. 7, 2013, Elder Billie Schibler opened the second term of the seminar series Critical Conversations. University of Manitoba sociologist Dr. Laura Funk and Sheryl Peters of the Prairie Women's Centre for Health Excellence discussed how to do research in a way that is rooted in Indigenous traditions and motivated by social justice.
Jan. 21: University of Winnipeg’s Dr. Danielle Gaucher (psychology) on how to gain public support for First Nations' water and sanitation.
Jan. 28: Aimee Craft (sessional lecturer, law) on how rights are balanced with obligations and responsibilities in Indigenous water laws.
Feb. 4: Dr. Feiyue Wang (University of Manitoba) and Dr. Charles Wong (University of Winnipeg) discussed trace metal contaminants and toxic organic chemicals in the North.
March 11: Soil scientist Dr. Annemieke Farenhorst and Rob Penner from University College of the North talked about how to engage the young leaders of tomorrow in water rights issues.
Check out our Cherishing Water Facebook page, where First Nations youth and other members of their communities can dialogue with each other and researchers about water and sanitation issues they face.
The seminar series is organized by the University of Manitoba's Centre for Human Rights Research, with support from the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering in the Prairie region. Critical Conversations seminars in previous years focused on The Idea of a Human Rights Museum and Indian Residential Schools, Truth and Reconciliation. See written summaries and podcasts of all three series.