The purpose of this discussion is to describe the worldview and sacred relationship of the Cree people in Alberta, as well as how colonial policy has created despair (pomewin) in Aboriginal communities and a state of disconnectedness from the water. It concludes with the presentation of a framework for the development of policies that seek to repair the relationship between Aboriginal people and mainstream society – with the potential to create the good life, broadly defined (pimatisiwin) for all Albertans (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal). This discussion is based upon the findings of a three-year research project entitled “The Sacred Relationship”. The goals of the project were three-fold: to describe the Aboriginal People of Alberta’s sacred relationship with water, to articulate the Indigenous science practices of Aboriginal people, and to find common ground between Western and Indigenous science.


We wish to express our sincere gratitude to all of the Elders and scientists (Western and Indigenous) who participated in this project. We are also grateful to the Alberta Water Research Institute for their support (financial and so much more) of this project.

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