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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
September 23, 2017
Canadian Excellence


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Office of Aboriginal Initiatives

Laurier Student, Sheri Longboat, successfully completes dissertation on First Nations Water Security

Apr 23/13


Melissa Ireland, Aboriginal Student Support Coordinator (WATERLOO CAMPUS) |


Dr. Sheri Longboat |

The Office of Aboriginal Initiatives congratulates Dr. Sheri Longboat on the successful completion of her PhD and dissertation entitled,  “First Nation Water Security and Collaborative Governance: Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, Ontario, Canada” through the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University.  


Not only is the scholarship exemplary, but extremely timely as Dr. Longboat’s PhD thesis focuses on water security in First Nation communities, and investigates the relationship between First Nations and Western approaches to water, and the opportunities and barriers to collaboration in water governance.


Sheri Longboat, a member of Six Nations of the Grand River, and has previously worked in her community focusing on community-based education and training, and geomatics implementation to support land and resource management. 

For her doctoral work, Sheri has conducted research with the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation community and looked at water security from a First Nations perspective, and a within a broader water governance context.  This research enhances First Nations water security through the investigation of the interrelationships between First Nations and Western approaches to water, and the opportunities and barriers to collaboration in water governance. 

Sheri’s research offers valuable contributions to water security and governance, as well as critical dimensions and components to water security in First Nations communities.   Additionally, Dr. Longboat makes recommendations concerning on how to tackle water security and governance issues in First Nation communities by incorporating indigenous approaches into action plans and governance models

Achievement of water security must involve bridging elements of modern technical approaches with traditional indigenous ways. Dr. Longboat's work examines how First Nations people have an inherent responsibility to protect the land and the water they reside on and hold strong beliefs that water must be sustained for future generations to come. There are concerns that future generations of First Nations people might not have water left to protect due to a growing crisis of water insecurity in First Nation communities. Currently, nearly one in six First Nations communities suffers from microbiological or chemical water contamination, and are unable to access sufficient quantities of quality water to serve their most basic human needs. 

From this view, Dr. Longboat's work suggests that the path to water security involves addressing technical problems, but as well the broader range of social, political and economic challenges that constrain First Nations from exercising inherent rights.  Restoring the traditional forms of social-political governance removed through colonization and the Indian Act is seen as an essential step.

To view Dr. Longboat’s Thesis, visit:

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