Abstract: While international instruments and a few state governments endorse the “free, prior and informed consent” of Indigenous peoples in decision-making about the water in their traditional territories, most state water governance regimes do not recognize Indigenous water rights and responsibilities. Applying a political ecology lens to the settler colonialism of water governance exposes the continued depoliticizing personality of natural resources decision-making and reveals water as an abstract, static resource in law and governance processes. Most plainly, these decision-making processes inadequately consider environmental flows or cumulative effects and are at odds with both Indigenous governance and social-ecological approaches to watershed management. Using the example of groundwater licensing in British Columbia, Canada as reinforcing colonialism in water governance, this article examines how First Nations are asserting Indigenous rights in response to natural resource decision-making. Both within and outside of colonial governance processes they are establishing administrative and governance structures that express their water laws and jurisdiction. These structures include the Syilx, Nadleh Wut’en and Stellat’en creating standards for water, the Tsleil-Waututh and Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc community assessments of proposed pipeline and mining facilities, and the First Nations of the Nicola Valley planning process based on their own legal traditions. Where provincial and federal environmental governance has failed, Indigenous communities are repoliticizing colonial decision-making processes to shift jurisdiction towards Indigenous processes that institutionalize responsibilities for and relationships with water.

Abstract: The mass public uprisings in Bahrain on 14 February 2011 was another episode of the long-standing political strife that has been observed in the country since the early 20th century. This study highlights one of the sources of group identity that shapes part of the political dynamics in Bahrain that has so far received little academic attention, namely the one surrounding the competing discourse between ‘conquerors’ and ‘indigenes’. The conquest and settlement of the Al Khalifa have influenced the lives of the existing inhabitants and the country’s social structure under their hegemony. In the meantime, a large element of the Bahraini population, who are commonly called the Baharna (sing. Bahrani), has developed self-awareness as the ‘native people of Bahrain’. This self-perception has formed one of the crucial components of societal identity in Bahrain, and has been occasionally used by different political groups as an effective tool to mobilise the opposition and delegitimise the ruling family. In this regard, this study interprets a series of institutional measures and policies developed under King Hamad bin ʿIsa Al Khalifa in the 2000s as part of settlers’ crucial strategies to consolidate Al Khalifa’s dominance, namely the development of legitimising narratives, the exploitation of land, the formation of hegemonic boundaries, as well as the extraordinary security measures. At the same time, this thesis examines how the indigenous identity was politicised during this period, closely intertwined with their ethnic, sectarian and socio-political identities. This thesis has offered an original investigation on the political cleavage in Bahrain through the lens of settler colonialism. The settler colonial framework presents a useful approach to explain the confrontation between the rulers’ conqueror ideology and the indigenous claim of part of the population, to advance our understanding of the interplay of multiple competing identities in the struggle for power and the control of socio-political resources in Bahrain.

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