MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Christopher Alcantara

Geographical Areas

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Eskasoni, Potlotek, Membertou, Lennox Island, Abegweit, Oromocto, Tobique, Eel River Bar, Elsipogtog, Millbrook, Sipekne’katik, Paqtnkek, Pictou Landing, Acadia, Glooscap


Water security and access within First Nations communities entails a complex set of issues. However, this does not excuse government authorities’ inadequacies to address the inequity among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada regarding access to safe water. The Human Rights Watch describes access to safe drinking water “as a fundamental human right easily enjoyed by most Canadians” (Human Rights Watch 2016), and one that is integral to health and wellbeing. Many Indigenous communities have long been lacking access to clean, potable water which has many socio-economic implications. In a 2012 article written by White et al., they articulate that “looking to the future… may lead to the development of an Indigenous water authority” (2012:17). Thus, just as White et al. predicted, the complexities of water access within Indigenous communities have propelled the Atlantic First Nations to establish their own Indigenous led, federally funded water authority to serve participating communities in their region of Canada in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Through an inductive document analysis of publicly available information, a comparison of this innovative water authority to the OECD’s Water Governance Indicator Framework will be conducted. This analysis will ascertain whether the Atlantic First Nations Water Authority will be successful in providing water security to their communities, as it relates to the OECD’s recommendations.