Seeded by a series of conversations, gatherings and studies on how to strengthen the water movement in Canada, Our Living Waters has developed into a Network that is driving collaboration, uniting voices, and providing a common basis to measure progress toward our ambitious goal: all waters in Canada in good health by 2030.
No organization, no matter how large or well funded, can protect the waters alone. We need to work together.
Our Living Waters exists to amplify the influence and impact of the many, diverse organizations that make up the water community in Canada. We provide key services that connect and convene Network members.
As Network conveners, we are committed to centering our relationship with water in our work through the following values:
We know—in our bones—that water is sacred.
We have a responsibility to listen to and take care of the waters.
Our relationships with each other are a reflection of our relationships to water.
We are dedicated to working together on behalf of the waters.
Our Living Waters is a non-Indigenous organization with a commitment to the ongoing process of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
At OLW, we recognize that collaboration with Indigenous Peoples and perspectives is essential when working to protect waters. We are committed to learning about and practicing how to be in good relations with the land and Indigenous partners. We also strive to understand what it means to work with and across multiple knowledge systems. Wherever we are in this heart-led journey is the right place to take another step. As such, we commit to continued (un-)learning and expect to be humbled by mistakes along the way.
Our team of staff work together to catalyze collaboration within the Our Living Waters Network:
|Andrew Stegemann - Director: a skilled relationship-builder and convenor, Andrew offers his talents towards finding opportunities for collective advocacy and measuring shared impact within the OLW Network. As one of the original architects of Our Living Waters, he is the keeper of many of our stories.|
|Taylor Wilkes - Facilitator: As a heart-centred strategic thinker, Taylor brings a mix of inquiry and vulnerability to facilitating collaborations amongst the OLW Network. With a discerning eye for the talents of others and a playful imagination that can unearth new ways of thinking, Taylor helps groups find novel ways to work together and protect the waters.
|Rebekah Kipp - Communications Lead: As a creative communicator, Rebekah brings her talents in writing and design to her network weaving with Our Living Waters. With lived experience in French and English speaking Canada, she helps knit together the network and welcomes new member organizations.
We are grateful for the generosity, commitment and guidance from the Our Living Waters Steering Committee:
Carolynn Beaty: Executive Director- The Sitka Foundation
Wendy Cooper: Co-CEO Integrated Capital- Dragonfly Ventures
Elizabeth Hendriks: Vice-President, Restoration Conservation- World Wildlife Fund Canada
Tim Morris: Project Director- BC Freshwater Legacy Initiative
Lindsay Telfer: Manager, Capacity Development, Green Municipal Fund- Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Our Living Waters works closely with several sister organizations including the Canadian Freshwater Alliance, the Forum for Leadership on Water, Atlantic Water Network, and WWF Canada.
Our Living Waters is a project on MakeWay's shared platform, which provides operational support, governance, and charitable expertise for change-makers. The shared platform enables more time and money to go towards achieving greater impact. MakeWay is a national charity that builds partnerships and solutions to help nature and communities thrive together.
Our Living Waters commits to not take or apply for funds that are designated for Indigenous led organizations.
Many thanks to our core funding partners for their support of the Our Living Waters Network - Dragonfly Ventures, Sitka Foundation, Echo Foundation, and the RBC Foundation. In addition to these core funders, we have also received funding from the Max Bell Foundation, Heritage Canada, and the Real Estate Foundation of BC.