Skip to main content

Deering and Russian Mission partner with ANTHC for unique project celebrating Tribal water management

February 26, 2016

The National Tribal Water Center and the Alaska Rural Utility Collaborative (ARUC) are partnering on a project called Water is Life, which promotes healthy water-use behaviors though the development of education and outreach interventions using science, culture, art, and media. Water is Life specifically promotes pride and ownership in Tribal drinking water and water systems, and celebrates the healthy Alaska Native cultural values and traditions surrounding water. The project brings an entire community together with a shared vision and awareness of their public water system through the development of a large scale mural painting. The process hopes to empower children, residents, and local artists to be change agents; stimulate dialogue about critical issues, and build bridges of connection and understanding within communities.

Deering and Russian Mission were selected to participate in Water is Life for 2016. Through the process of hosting “Visioning Meetings,” communities have time to reflect on their history, traditional values, and provide a canvas to share their stories that connect the communities to water culture. The water murals will then be painted on the water storage tanks, water treatment plants and community buildings in Tribal communities this coming spring and summer.

The goals and objectives are to increase the understanding of the health benefits and risks of water, as well as to create pride in ownership of the community’s water and infrastructure. Funding for the mural paintings is provided by the Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation. The National Tribal Water Center worked with the community of Fort Belknap, Montana in 2015 for the first Water is Life project.

Learn more about the National Tribal Water Center at

Share this story

Sign Up For Our Newsletter