Coquitlam's host Indigenous peoples are hoping some newly-granted funding will help lead to better freshwater access on their traditional, ancestral and unceded territory.
On Oct. 27, kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation was awarded $45,000 to assess local water resources, thanks to a grant from the Real Estate Foundation of BC (REFBC).
The philanthropic non-profit organization selected the submission among 10 other projects — most of which were Indigenous-led — that focused on reconciliation, freshwater stewardship and innovative land trusts.
The grants combined for nearly $613,000, a release stated.
kʷikʷəƛ̓əm explains its piece of the pie will be put towards a field measurement program as well as high-resolution computational modeling that will be used to assess freshwater above and below ground.
In December 2020, the First Nation issued a Declaration of Economic Land Rights, in which a key component is its "commitment to be Stewards and Guardians of the Lands, Waters and all that is above and below."
"This funding supports applied research, public education, and policy and law reform to advance sustainable land use, built environments, freshwater stewardship, and food lands programming with a view to upholding Indigenous rights and title and racial equity and justice.," the REFBC adds in its statement.
The REFBC has distributed more than $90 million to organizations since its inception in 1988.
More information about the organization can be found on its website.