The Connecting with Water award was a funding competition that was designed to enable junior researchers (students and postdoctoral fellows, also referred to as Highly Qualified Personnel -HQP) from WEPGN to develop and implement their own Knowledge Mobilization (KM) projects. The program’s purpose was to recognize excellence amongst junior researchers and provide them with an opportunity to develop research communication and knowledge mobilization skills in a creative and self-directed manner. Below, are our two winners.
Governments at all levels are challenged with allocating limited budgets among competing priorities. This is particularly difficult when environmental protection is one of these priorities. It often isn’t obvious what the benefits are from investing in environmental protection relative to the often very obvious alternative uses for the funds. To better understand what people are willing to pay for improvements in environmental indicators, residents of the central Okanagan were invited to participate in a survey to explore (1) the role that level of concern plays, (2) how social networks impact the likelihood of choosing an improvement option relative to the status quo, and (3) how participation in deliberation impacts the probability of an improvement option being chosen. These fact sheets discuss the impact of deliberation on the results of environmental valuation studies, whether level of concern matters in environmental policy tradeoffs and the influence of social networks on willingness to pay.
Reserve communities and water researchers are recognizing the importance of applying Indigenous approaches to water challenges in Canada. Learning how to share co-produced knowledge in culturally respectful ways is a challenge for researchers and partners working to reconcile past colonial approaches such as publishing scientific papers and not making knowledge relevant for community members. Currently, there are few well-tested methods of knowledge co-production that blend traditional practices, research methods and technology. This project was developed in response to a request from Yellow Quill First Nation (YQFN) to share Elders’ lived experiences of water on a reserve as a story, and reveal how those experiences influenced the state of the water today. Elders, community leaders, youth and researchers built relationships through a process of creating an empowering art-animation video that embodied the six “Rs” of research with Indigenous people: respect, relevance, reciprocity, responsibility, relationality and reconciliation.