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CUPE’s Water is life campaign provides educational tools to learn about Indigenous water issues and mobilize all locals and members in support of Indigenous peoples and allies to protect and fix the water.  

CUPE has long recognized that water is a basic human right for all people and our union is committed to taking action towards truth and reconciliation. CUPE also represents over 10,000 workers delivering public water and wastewater services in cities and towns across the country. For these reasons and more, CUPE is launching the Water is life campaign.  

The campaign includes this list of resources for locals to listen, learn and act:


  • Learn about Indigenous water sovereignty and Indigenous water teachings.
  • Learn why the term Water is life is important to Indigenous people and how colonialism has impacted Indigenous peoples’ access to clean water.
  • Learn about the creation of the Atlantic First Nations Water Authority (AFNWA). Founded in 2018, the Atlantic First Nations Water Authority is a group of 18 Mi’kmaw and Wolastoqey First Nations working towards complete responsibility for the operation, maintenance, and capital upgrades of all water and wastewater assets in participating First Nations. The AFNWA received a commitment of $170 million in federal funding over 10 years in the 2022 budget.
  • The very first river in Canada to receive the same legal protections as a person is the Magpie River in Quebec. This exciting development happen in 2021 and was driven by Indigenous people wanting to protect the water.



Check out the Water is life campaign page for more resources and materials to share in your local and on social media.