Integrating traditional and western knowledge for water management

The French version of the competition announcement is available here

Please note that this competition is closed and project funding has been awarded

Canadian Water Network (CWN) is soliciting proposals to examine the relative merits of methods and research approaches for integrating traditional and western knowledge to inform water management in First Nation, Inuit, and Métis communities.

The goal of this work is to better equip those with an interest in effective design and execution of initiatives to integrate traditional and western knowledge to inform water decisions, increasing the value of results for First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.

One team will ultimately be selected to conduct this one-year “knowledge integration” project. The objectives of the project will be to: a) capture and document the relative merits of approaches to integrating traditional and western knowledge within research initiatives addressing management of watersheds and related water systems (e.g., drinking water, wastewater, stormwater) in First Nation, Inuit, and Métis communities across Canada; and, b) assess the success of the various approaches taken for informing decisions and actions related to water management challenges. Specifically, the team will be asked to:

  • identify past and ongoing water management-related research across all relevant disciplines that has attempted to include traditional knowledge, using CWN-funded research as a starting point and extending to research outside the CWN network;
  • summarize methods and models used within the research reviewed to integrate traditional and western knowledge;
  • examine and highlight the divergent perspectives and approaches within and between First Nation, Inuit, and Métis communities that are important considerations for effective integration of traditional and western knowledge;
  • present evidence demonstrating the strengths and weaknesses of each method and model studied for creating value for First Nation, Inuit, and Métis communities in response to water management challenges; and,
  • provide recommendations for future research approaches integrating traditional and western knowledge to achieve maximum benefit for informing decision making within First Nation, Inuit, and Métis communities. 

The deadline for submission of full proposals is February 10, 2014, 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time. Results of the competition will be announced March 26, 2014. The successful project will have a timeline of 12 months (April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015). 


For details on eligibility, please click on the Competition Announcement document listed in the Important Documents section below.

Funding Amount

CWN anticipates funding one project in the range of $150,000 – $200,000. Budget requests exceeding $200,000 will be rejected, and the proposal budget must show strong justifications for amounts requested.

Important Deadlines

Milestone Date
Competition posted December 11, 2013
Full proposals due February 10, 2014
Notifications of funding decisions March 26, 2014
Project start date April 1, 2014
Draft report outline due (outline and table of contents) June 27, 2014
Progress update meeting October 2014
Draft report due January 15, 2015
Project end date March 31, 2015
Final report due March 31, 2015
2014-15 annual statistical report due May 15, 2015

Important Documents

Please note that you will be prompted to save files to your computer that are not a pdf. These forms are locked and may not be compatible with some versions of Microsoft Word or other word processing programs. If you experience difficulties with these forms, or have administrative inquiries about submissions, please contact Katherine Balpataky at or by telephone at 519-888-4567 ext. 31144.

Please send all submissions to Katherine Balpataky at