Unveiling New Insights into the Role of Indigenous Women in Water-Health

Indigenous women across the Turtle Island are raising their voices to draw attention to water issues faced by Indigenous communities, resisting environmental injustices affecting their families, relationships and nations. A growing number of Indigenous women have held leadership roles in communities and regional/national political organizations. However, mainstream media are more focused on traditional sacred connections between and responsibilities ofIndigenous women to protect water and the Earth – coverage is far less focused on their successes on the ground in their communities. The focus of this session is to present evidence on how women’s leadership and spiritual connection to water can translate into the pragmatic development of drinking water treatment solutions. The panel will focus on a real-world case study: the lifting of a decades-long water advisory at Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation. In a collaborative project led and supported in large part by Indigenous women, a desire for long-term sustainability in a new water source brought out creative strategies acceptable to both health authorities and the funding agency that likely would not have been discovered during a search for a quick fix.

Moderator: Sylvia Plain, member of Board of Director RESEAU Centre for Mobilizing Innovation.


·     Chief Liliane Squinas, Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation

·     Brenda Thomas, Band Administrator