2017 Report

The 2017 inaugural Mni Ki Wakan Indigenous Water Decade was held in Minnneapolis, Minnesota, United States. The traditional territory of the Dakota people. Mnisota in the Dakota language means the land of smokey and cloudy waters.


Ta'Kaiya Blaney, Water Protector, is from the Tla'Amin First Nation and has addressed the United Nations at conferences, meetings, and associated events.

2018 Report

Mni Ki Wakan
Reports are developed by indigenous peoples, youth, and allies each year at the Mni Ki Wakan: World Indigenous Peoples' Decade of Water. The Mni Ki Wakan Reports are the guiding frameworks and language of this indigenous water movement. The ideas, consensus, and recommendations of the global indigenous community guide the Indigenous Water Assembly, partners, and relationships in the development of Mni Ki Wakan. Reports are integrated into collaboration, partnerships, and recommendations made at the United Nations, elevating the voices of indigenous peoples on water to a global scale.

Autumn Peltier is from Wikwemikong First Nation/Manitolin Island and is descends from the Ojibwe/Odawa people. In 2019, she was appointed Chief Water Commissioner of the Anishinabe Nation providing water advocacy for 40 First Nations in Ontario. Autumn advocates for clean drinking water across First Nations and the global community. In 2018, Autumn spoke at the United Nations on World Water Day, and in Sweden for World Water Week.

Addressing the UN General Assembly in 2018, Autumn called on them to "warrior up!" and went on to state: "our water deserves to be treated at human right human rights. We need to acknowledge our waters with personhood so we can protect our waters."

2019 Report

The 2019 Mni Ki Wakan commenced in Rapid City, South Dakota, United States, August 13-15. Approximately 125-200 Indigenous participants, organizations, partners, allies, and Indigenous youth were in attendance. Indigenous keynotes engaged participants in thematic areas on water ranging from Indigenous water justice, governance, infrastructure, access, and Indigenous knowledge. Lakota scholars and elders provided guidance to this year's summit located within the traditional territory of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires).

Keynotes Included:

Sean Sherman, Sioux Chef | Food Sovereignty & Water

Wizipan Garriot, CEO, REDCO | Food Sovereignty & Water

Emma Robbins, DiggDeep, Navajo Water Project | Water Infrastructure & Access

Kelsey Leonard, Water Scholar | Water Justice, Governance, & Sustainability

Coming Together For the Future of Water & All Life

This year, on August 16-18, 2022, the Mni Ki Wakan Summit was hosted in Rapid City, South Dakota, 55 participants from surrounding Native Nations and urban Native communities converged in exploration of this year’s theme, “Coming Together for the Future of Water & All Life.” Indigenous water resource departments, advocates, researchers, and environmental organizations were in attendance. During the MKW Summit, co-facilitators convened Indigenous Innovation Circles (ICCs) centering Indigenous water values and a culturally-responsive community conversational model. MKW Summit keynote presentations expanded on Indigenous water governance, justice, and innovation, uplifting Indigenous knowledges and worldviews.

MKW Summit Sessions included: A keynote address, Earth Law for Indigenous Water Justice, and an interactive session, titled: Youth Voices for Indigenous Water Futures by Dr. Kelsey Leonard; Dr. Crystal Tulley-Cordova (Navajo Nation Principal Hydrologist) presented on Navajo Nation water challenges, collaboration, and innovation; A keynote address by Sicangu Lakota scholar Victor Douville presenting on Oceti Sakowin Water Culture, Treaties, & Practices Today; A panel by Black Hills Clean Water Alliance on anti-uranium mining; A presentation on Tribal water resources by the Great Plains Tribal Water Alliance; an Indigenous Youth Water Futurities panel by Tokala Inanjinyo, Sicangu Youth Council, and the International Indigenous Youth Council-Oglala Chapter; and an Indigenous Youth Water Innovation presentation by Daryl Kootenay and Ariel Waskewitch.

Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

2019, Geneva, Switzerland
Utilizing the Mni Ki Wakan summit and convening reports, Mni Ki Wakan provided a water statement at the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the foremost Indigenous human rights organ of the UN. Mni Ki Wakan called for a global Indigenous water rights study; global Indigenous water decade; coordinating water body to maximize partnerships and assemble the global Indigenous water network; and a call for the legal personhood of all water centering the sacredness of water.

OHCHR Global Water Crisis 2021 MKW Input

UN 2023 Water Conference: Stakeholder Consultation for Proposed Session Themes

MKW, page: 35.

UN 2023 Water Conference: Full Summary of MKW input.

UNPFII Water Intervention

UNPFII Water Intervention

UNPFII Water Intervention 2019


A Global Water Movement
For several years, the Mni Ki Wakan: Indigenous Water Assembly has made water rights recommendations using the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a guiding framework for Indigenous water rights at the United Nations' Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (2014); and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2019. These human rights recommendations are recognized as 'interventions' by the United Nations because they are brought forth in order to intervene upon human rights abuses.

Recently, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for Indigenous voices on the global water crisis, indicating progress in our work as Mni Ki Wakan and of Indigenous water movements. Mni Ki Wakan continues to provide global water input. Our interventions are guided by the stakeholders we serve at the grassroots level (see partnerships and summit), and the summit reports.

Indigenous Water Assembly

Meet our members
The indigenous water assembly is dedicated to the respect and protection of water. Members are from diverse regions of the world community and carry out diverse areas of water governance centering indigenous knowledge.

Have any Question?

Frequently asked questions

Indigenous-led orgaizations working on related areas of water, environment, and human rights are invited to contact Mni Ki Wakan. We would like to learn more about your work, and if there is prospect for collaboration.

Mni Ki Wakan centers the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework for respectful collaboration and partnership.

Allies can become more impactsful by having a foundation understanding of indigenous peoples’ human rights and what respect means in lieu of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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Mni Ki Wakan is funded by responsible and trusted donors who have demonstrated a positive record with indigenous communities and support indigenous values.