Community-based water monitoring and two-eyed seeing in the St. Marys Area of Concern
This project aims to bring Indigenous and Western ways of knowing together to generate actionable community-based data and information to influence local and regional water management and related decisions in the St. Marys River Area of Concern. Led collaboratively by the Garden River First Nation, NORDIK Institute (Algoma University), and Waterlution, delivered in partnership with four other organizations, we propose a pilot project that will train Indigenous community members to monitor water quality over a condensed monitoring season (i.e., as a proof of concept). Data will be uploaded to openly accessible databases and will be interpreted and shared with members of the Garden River community, the Algoma University academic community, and others involved in the St. Marys River Area of Concern. The goal is to make community-derived information actionable by decision makers, while improving the community's ability to self-govern its resources. Monitoring will contribute to an understanding of current conditions (a 'baseline' before further industry enters) in the Garden River and nearshore St. Marys River, while providing context for training basic monitoring skills.