Swimming and Diving in Grandpa's River: A Promise of Help with Respect to Water on Halalt Territory

  • Michael Graeme University of Victoria
Keywords: Halalt First Nation, Chemainus, Indigenous law, decolonization, Coast Salish


Drawing on media reports, court proceedings, and ethnographic literature, this paper explores contentions between the Halalt First Nation and the Municipality of North Cowichan regarding rights and access to the Chemainus Aquifer. Using a well project proposed by the municipality as a focus, I describe colonial power dynamics and argue that a decolonizing shift is needed in law and society to reconcile Indigenous and non-Indigenous ways of using and regulating resources on unceded Coast Salish territory.


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