The Ohneganos Water Project, under the direction of Dr. Dawn Martin-Hill, has created maps, conducted water quality studies and created an entire database to help understand the Grand River watershed better.
The Ohneganos project will be unveiled in August. Dr. Martin-Hill updated Six Nations Elected Council on the project saying they started the research to investigate Indigenous water insecurity while focusing on two communities: Six Nations and the Rubicon Lake Band of Little Buffalo in Northern Alberta.
Both communities have endured generations of limited access to clean drinking water and are worried about the level of pollution in the water and ecosystems that their communities rely on.
The project entails:
- Production of digital stories demonstrating how water quality shapes and informs mental well-being.
- Adapting a mental wellness mobile application to provide tools for youth struggling with water anxiety.
- Investigating the impact of water insecurity on youth by delivering a mental wellness survey.
- Identifying water protection measures and developing a citizen’s guide to ecocentric protection.
- Developing a website to make educational resources publicly available.
- Archival mapping of waterways, including place-naming in local languages and describing traditional uses.
- Turtle tracking and monitoring to gather information on water geographies, environmental health, nesting sites.
- Youth training in UNDRIP and attending the UNPFII for training in legal water governance frameworks.
- Creating new pathways into post-secondary STEM programs for Indigenous Youth.
- Creation of a new Traditional Ecological Knowledge program at local post-secondary institutions.
Martin-Hill will work with council for more funding and office space to continue their work. She received ethics approval last week to test turtles that get run over on roads.
Dr. Martin-Hill said the work will help them understand the future of the watershed, which areas to avoid, where you can fish, etc. They’re hoping to build educational materials on the project to put into people hands and bring the knowledge into local schools.
History of Polio on Six Nations to be studied
Tara Brookfield, an associate professor from Wilfrid Laurier, is a historian who specializes in children and youth in Canada in the 20th century. She is proposing to expand her research project looking into polio in Brantford and Brant County to include a Six Nations perspective. She will collect oral and archival evidence to understand what it was like to live between the 1920s and 1970s which had local outbreaks of polio, an infectious disease that can cause partial or full paralysis. Researchers want to understand diversity perspectives when it came to polio virus infection. They’re also seeking to investigate how polio affected children in congregate settings, such as the Mohawk Institute Residential School.
A summary of her findings will be provided to local epidemiologists.