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Water is considered by many Indigenous people in the Northwest Territories (NWT) to be a heart, giving life to people, wildlife, fish and plants. All NWT residents have the responsibility to ensure that the use of the land and water does not harm the water and aquatic ecosystems on which people, plants and animals depend. This effort is called water stewardship.
With increasing pressures on water and aquatic ecosystems at a regional, national and international level, residents are recognizing that action needs to be taken now to ensure water and aquatic ecosystems are sustained for future generations. Environmental monitoring and research activities provide a foundation for making sound water stewardship decisions in the NWT. Through water stewardship and partnerships, NWT residents can work together to make sure the waters of the NWT remain clean, abundant and productive for all time.
Northern Voices, Northern Waters: NWT Water Stewardship Strategy (the Strategy), the NWT Water Stewardship Strategy: A Plan for Action, 2016-2020 (the 2016-2020 Action Plan), and the NWT Water Stewardship: A Plan for Action, 2011-2015 (the 2011-2015 Action Plan) were developed by water partners to create a collaborative, partnership-based approach to enhance and promote water stewardship in the NWT at all levels.
While the Strategy encourages action, it does not affect existing or asserted Aboriginal rights, treaty rights, or land, resource and self-government agreements. If there is any dispute between the Strategy and Aboriginal rights or agreements, the original rights or agreements will be upheld.
Similar to the 2011-2015 Action Plan, the 2016-2020 Action Plan identifies lead and supporting water partners and keys to success with associated action items and deliverable dates. The 2016-2020 Action Plan also identifies performance indicators to track the effectiveness of implementation.
The 2016-2020 Action Plan will be subject to ongoing review and evaluation to ensure its implementation continues to advance the intent of the Strategy. Regular status updates will be published to track and report on progress.