On World Water Day UBCIC Calls on Governments to Prevent Predicted Water Shortages

News Release
March 22, 2024

On World Water Day UBCIC Calls on Governments to Prevent Predicted Water Shortages

(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil Waututh)/ Vancouver, B.C. – March 22, 2024) The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) acknowledges World Water Day and calls on the provincial and federal governments to support and provide funding for First Nations in B.C. to combat predicted drought conditions this summer, including funding the shíshálh Nation’s proposed and desperately needed reservoir.   

Today, on World Water Day, we pay tribute to and acknowledge the significance of our water not just on this day but every day. Water is indispensable, vital for drinking, sanitation, agriculture, and sustaining life. Many places in B.C. are experiencing persistent and unprecedented drought conditions, in part due to the onset of climate change. The UBCIC Chiefs Council has passed a resolution supporting Shíshálh Nation’s proposed reservoir, which will benefit many residents on the lower Sunshine Coast and funding from the province of B.C. and the Federal Government can achieve that goal.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, UBCIC President , stated, “Water is the lifeblood of Mother Earth. It's everything to us. Water is sacred, and it’s a symbol of our sovereignty. During these times of unprecedented climate emergencies more work needs to be done to save the water, the precious and critical resource that it is. The shíshálh Nation is doing the work of creating a reservoir for the protection of water, it is time the provincial and federal governments do their part and fund this work”.

 Chief Don Tom, Vice-President of the UBCIC, commented, “Water is a vital part of our communities. Indigenous peoples understand the importance of preserving and conserving water for future generations. Today and everyday we fight for our water and call on others to do the same”.

 Chief Marilyn Slett, Secretary-Treasurer of the UBCIC, remarked, “Water conservation extends beyond environmental sustainability; it encompasses fundamental human rights and the preservation of our cultural heritage.”


Media inquiries:

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, 250-490-5314
Chief Don Tom, Vice-President, 604-290-6083
Chief Marilyn Slett, Secretary-Treasurer, 250-957-7721


UBCIC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

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