We are an interdisciplinary team of researchers and community partners assessing critical linkages and interactions in the sqwʔa (Peachland Creek) watershed in the Okanagan.

Natural watersheds are unique landscape units where silwɬkʷ (water) connects various environmental and social processes and services. These connections and interactions clearly suggest that watersheds must be treated as ecosystems for integrated research and management. Currently, however, there is insufficient scientific knowledge about watershed ecosystems to guide integrated and sustainable watershed governance approaches.

What we do

The key goal of this research cluster is to develop and advance watershed ecosystem-based science and governance knowledge through interdisciplinary and community-engaged research. Indigenous Syilx rights, knowledge, and silwɬkʷ (water) law will be integral to this pilot study which is focused on the Peachland community watershed.

This research will be carried out on the traditional, unceded and ancestral land of the Syilx Okanagan People in a manner that reflects the 4Rs of Indigenous-engaged research: Relevance, Respect, Reciprocity and Relationship Building. We acknowledge syilx knowledge as empirical, evidence-based, verifiable and modern science.


“For me, the people in the water cluster really represent a diversity that’s needed, a diversity of voice. The cluster itself really represents a whole-system view, and a whole-system voice that would be a good model, I think, for the future.”

– Dr. Jeannette Armstrong, Syilx Knowledge

Introduction to our research group