Ted van der Gulik

    GEORGIA BASIN INTER-REGIONAL EDUCATION INITIATIVE: “History is important. It is important to understand how we got to where we are. And we need to celebrate that work,” stated Brian Carruthers, Chief Administrative Officer (2014-2022), Cowichan Valley Regional District

    “I had a real incentive to come to the Cowichan Valley Regional District in 2014 because water was the primary focus. The region was in the midst of a watershed governance study. It was looking at how the CVRD could take a more active role in watershed governance. The Board Chair and I did tours of First Nations communities and met with their chiefs and councils around the intent of this initiative and what would their interest be. We realized that this was bigger than we could take on at that time. Instead, we turned our attention to the Drinking Water & Watershed Protection (DWWP) model for a regional service,” stated Brian Carruthers.

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    WATER EFFICIENT YARDS AND GARDENS: “The BC Landscape Water Calculator is a new tool for the CRD’s Summer Waterwise Campaign. It has real potential to foster a stewardship ethic on the part of homeowners,” stated Glenn Harris, Senior Manager of the Capital Regional District’s environmental protection team

    “CRD saw that our participation in the BC Landscape Water Calculator initiative would benefit both our residential and business water conservation programs. When CRD launches Waterwise Summer as part of Live Green in the Yard and Garden, we will promote the BC Landscape Water Calculator as part of the program. The campaign objective is to raise awareness throughout the region about water conservation. We will present the BC Landscape Water Calculator as a tool that anyone can use to design a water efficient irrigation system and landscape plan,” stated Glenn Harris.

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    INTERWEAVING WESTERN SCIENCE AND INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE: “My work related to water and reconciliation has put the spotlight on a new angle. Is reconciliation just dealing with the past and acknowledging the pain and moving on, or is it something more complex than that?” asked Michael Blackstock, Indigenous Independent Scholar and creator of Blue Ecology

    “My question for the Western science world is this: Are you prepared and willing to change your definition of water in science? And if you are, what would the change in definition look like? No longer is it ceremonial. The methodology for Blue Ecology is about the actual work of interweaving the strengths of two cultures to reconcile them. It is time for First Nations to take a seat at environmental policy tables, as respected knowledge keepers who understand and respect water. Indigenous teachings can improve Western science,” stated Michael Blackstock.

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