Borderless Waters: An Evaluation of Indigenous Perspectives in the Mackenzie River Basin Transboundary Agreements

Regions: Dehcho Region

Tags: social sciences, governance

Principal Investigator: Hall, Teall S (1)
Licence Number: 15952
Organization: Carleton University
Licenced Year(s): 2016
Issued: Aug 30, 2016
Project Team: Jeremy Schmidt (Supervisor, Carleton University), Mike Brklacich (Supervisor, Carleton University)

Objective(s): To investigate how Indigenous perspectives were considered during the negotiation process as well as the final output of the agreements for the Mackenzie River Basin Bilateral Water Management Agreement.

Project Description: The goal is to highlight how current settler-colonial relations in Canada has failed to include Indigenous peoples into environmental decision-making. The goal of this study is to investigate how Indigenous perspectives were considered during the negotiation process as well as the final output of the agreements for the Mackenzie River Basin Bilateral Water Management Agreement between the Government of Alberta and the Government of the Northwest Territories. The objective is to see how this knowledge is utilized.

In-depth interviews will be conducted for this study. No more than 15 people will be interviewed (from both the Alberta side and the NWT side combined). Interviews will take place on a one-on-one basis with the primary researcher (Teall Hall), on the phone, over Skype, or in person. Interviews will last 30-60 minutes, and will be audio recorded.

Local involvement in the study will firstly help to highlight the importance of shared water governance, and that that all effected parties should be considered when negotiating water related decisions. Secondly, involvement will help to investigate the roles of Indigenous peoples in water management, and may lead to larger research such as a doctoral study. Thirdly, involvement will allow participants to recall experiences negotiating water management agreements, and allow for self-reflection on where and how improvements can be made. Lastly, involvement may lead to a journal publication to share the findings with other people in academia.

The study is a part of a Masters Thesis study, and will be published through the Carleton University thesis database. Also, the primary researcher, hopes to have the study published in an academic journal to share with other researchers, and plans to present findings at other conferences.


The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from August 31, 2016 to September 30, 2016.