Water Rights - on and off reserve
Our very survival is dependant upon access to water. Prior to the arrival of Europeans in North America Tribes and Bands used the lakes rivers and streams for transportation, for irrigation if an agricultural tribe, and located their settlements and campsites along the shores of the waterways. Once the Europeans arrived these same people were "allotted" Indian reserves, at times concomitant with associated "water records" and at times without. In dry-land areas no access to water amounted to guaranteed failure in agricultural pursuits.
Over time too many large national or multi-national farms, dams for reservoirs and hydro power, and pollution, have limited aboriginal peoples access to water. The aboriginal right to water has been infringed upon as has the right to water appurtenant to reservations or reserves.
Archival records are a primary source of documentation regarding both the history of the tribe, or band, affected as well as the cumulative impact upon their rights to water. The written records provide the history of encroachment, while the oral tradition fills in the gaps in the historical record and provides the real story.
LVB Strategic Negotiations & Research Group Inc. will gather the information, prepare a report for negotiations and/or litigation, and will assist in negotiations where appropriate. Linda Vanden Berg can be reached at 250-656-1050 or at [email protected]