Water stewardship strategy completed in Northwest Territories

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YELLOWKNIFE, Canada, May 20, 2010 -- Northern Voices, Northern Waters: The Northwest Territories Water Stewardship Strategy, a collaborative approach to responsible water stewardship, was released jointly today by the Northwest Territories Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

The Strategy promotes an ecosystem-based approach within watersheds to improve water stewardship that will reflect the deep and fundamental relationship between residents and the waters of the Northwest Territories. It sets a common path forward for water partners to take steps today to ensure our water is used respectfully for the benefit of future generations. The Strategy will improve decision-making processes, information sharing and communications among all parties involved in water stewardship activities in the Northwest Territories.

"As residents of the NWT we need to show strong leadership in water stewardship by setting high standards to ensure the sustainable use of this important and valuable resource for current and future generations," said ENR Minister J. Michael Miltenberger. "The next step is to develop an action plan to advance the vision and goals of the NWT Water Stewardship Strategy and keep our waters clean, abundant and productive for all time."

Representatives of Aboriginal governments played a key role in the development of the NWT Water Stewardship Strategy. The Strategy respects settled land claim and self-government agreements and Aboriginal and treaty rights.

"Indian and Northern Affairs Canada is pleased to release the NWT Water Stewardship Strategy in partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories. This Water Strategy will contribute to the better management of water in the Northwest Territories, which can only help implement the Action Plan to Improve the North's Regulatory Regimes," said the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians.

The Strategy sets guiding principles and goals for water stewardship in the Northwest Territories. The Strategy's framework identifies key activities and timelines, which water partners in the Northwest Territories need to consider to ensure the success of the Strategy. A detailed action plan will be developed based on the Framework for Keys to Success included in the Strategy during the next several months, with anticipated completion by this fall.

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