2023 Water Stewardship Strategy Implementation Workshop Report

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Publication date: 
July, 2024

This report provides an executive summary of the 14th Annual Northwest Territories (NWT) Water Stewardship Strategy Implementation Workshop, hosted by the Water Monitoring and Stewardship Division, Department of Environment and Climate Change (ECC).

The workshop was attended by over 30 Indigenous government representatives, 10 academic researchers, 45 government representatives and others, and included panel discussions, presentations, and breakout discussions.

The summary highlights the objectives and outcomes of the Workshop. 

For more information on the NWT Water Stewardship Strategy and the presentations made at the workshop, please visit: https://www.nwtwaterstewardship.ca/ or send us an e-mail at nwtwaterstrategy@gov.nt.ca


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The 14th Annual NWT Water Stewardship Strategy Implementation Workshop was held October 25-26, 2023 at the Chief Drygeese Centre in Dettah. The two-day event brought water partners together under the theme of "Inspiring Our Future Water Stewards", in acknowledgement of the importance of engaging and building capacity for youth in water stewardship.  The workshop also provided a venue to discuss successes, challenges, and opportunities for continued collaboration to achieve the goals of the NWT Water Stewardship Strategy and the 2021-2025 Action Plan.

Key objectives of the workshop included, but were not limited to, the following:

  • Discuss opportunities for NWT future water leaders’ engagement and capacity building.
  • Highlight successes, opportunities, challenges, and needs to advance water stewardship in the NWT.
  • Provide a platform for Water Partners to share, network, and build partnerships with one another.
  • Emphasize the importance of individual and collective responsibilities to ensure the waters of the NWT remain clean, abundant, and productive for all time.

Some of the key takeaways from the Water Stewardship Strategy Workshop presentations and panel discussions include:

  • Implementation of the NWT Water Stewardship Strategy 2021-2025 Action Plan is well underway by water partners through a number of ongoing projects and initiatives. The progress summary report for the second year of implementation of the Action Plan will soon be available to the public.
  • The Water Strategy Indigenous Steering Committee, providing guidance to the implementation of the Water Strategy, shared different ongoing water-related projects in their respective communities, and stressed the importance of youth engagement in water stewardship and ways youth can be involved.
  • Different water partners, including a youth panel, presented different projects and initiatives contributing to the vision of the Water Strategy. Youth engagement and capacity-building opportunities in water stewardship were mentioned throughout the workshop, and the need to involve youth from an early age was emphasized.
  • Through the workshop exit survey, participants reported that the workshop was very informative, with diverse yet convergent topics. They shared that such workshops were essential in such a changing climate, to keep people informed about ongoing studies and to find solutions to pressing issues. Participants expressed the need for more plain-language presentations and a closer link with Indigenous knowledge systems to enable scientific researchers to learn more from communities.

Close to 100 representatives from Indigenous governments and Indigenous organizations, academic institutions, NWT regulatory agencies, non-governmental organizations, and federal and territorial departments participated in the workshop. Members of the Water Strategy Indigenous Steering Committee (ISC) participated in the workshop to represent the interests of their respective Indigenous governments and Indigenous organizations.

A complete list of workshop participants can be found in Appendix B of this document.