MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Christopher Alcantara

Geographical Areas

Canada, Ontario, First Nations communities


To what extent can municipalities support a multi-barrier approach (MBA) to improving First Nations water security in Ontario? Through a systematic content analysis of legislation, standards, guidelines, and reports, capacities of First Nations and municipalities to implement the MBA are identified in relation to the approach’s three barriers: source water protection, water treatment systems, and water distribution systems. The results of this paper show that municipalities are equipped with the capacities to support a First Nations’ MBA, and are particularly well equipped in their managerial, technical, and political capacities to support efforts of source water protection. Water treatment and distribution, on the other hand, are much more heavily governed by higher-order government control and so local actors do not have much to offer in the way of support for these barriers. The paper ends with a discussion of potential opportunities for cooperation between municipalities and First Nations in Ontario in using the MBA to address First Nation water security.