Whether our community water system works well or we are experiencing ongoing challenges, it is valuable to revisit our fundamental connection to our water. Recognizing our cultural connections to our local water is one effective way to start important water-centered conversations in our community.
The resources below include some of our favorite approaches to promoting connection to local water, including: celebrating water culture, sharing traditional water knowledge, conserving water, educating youth and engaging the community to start important conversations about water.
Water is Life
At the National Tribal Water Center, one of our favorite ways to celebrate local water culture is through art. Click on the link below to learn more about the Water is Life project, an art-based approach that engages the community in a week of water-related activities, culminating in the presentation of a large-scale work of art representing local water culture.
Sharing the Traditional Water Knowledge of Elders
The Tomorrow’s Ancestors Speak project helps to share the knowledge carried by Native Elders. The project presents their water-focused messages primarily through videos shared on various social media platforms. Many of the videos are in Spanish, but you’ll also find videos in English by Houston Cypress of Miccosukee Tribe and Anishinabeg Elder, Chief Al Baker. Use these videos to inspire your own community efforts to record and share the traditional water knowledge of Elders. This type of project is a great way to encourage youth to engage with their Elders and connect the entire community to the importance of clean water.
Games, Activities and Concrete Tips for Conservation
The Water – Use It Wisely campaign was developed to offer clear tips for water conservation in the American Southwest. The campaign website offers a variety of games and activities to help children learn more about water conservation.
Educating Youth - Water Centered School Curriculum
Content coming soon.
Engaging in Critical Water Conversations
Because water is essential to our survival, discussions about access and availability of clean water can become very personal. The following section offers advice on engaging in difficult water conversations when opinions vary, stakes are high and emotions run strong.