Ecotrust, Yukon River Inter-tribal Watershed Council launch new project, with funding from RBC’s Blue Water Project
Release Date: 06-09-2014

Whitehorse, Yukon, June 09, 2014 – Ecotrust and the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council (YRITWC) are excited to announce the launch of a new joint project to improve water quality in Whitehorse. The project will expand capabilities to build awareness of and involvement in water quality issues among First Nations in the Yukon River watershed. The initiative will adapt existing Ecotrust mobile data gathering tools to include new water quality monitoring capabilities.

“This project will help to build the capacity of First Nations to assume leadership roles throughout the process, setting the stage for improved water quality outcomes for local communities,” says Jon Waterhouse, executive director of the YRITWC.

The project is made possible by RBC’s Blue Water Project, a 10-year, $50-million global commitment to help protect the world’s most precious natural resource: fresh water. Since 2007, RBC has pledged over $38 million to more than 650 charitable organizations worldwide that protect water.

“The Blue Water Project is an important pillar for RBC,” says Jeff Fowler, regional vice president, RBC. “Water matters – pure and simple. Last year, we began focusing our efforts on supporting projects that help protect and preserve water in northern communities – projects just like this.”

Ecotrust has been working with the YRITWC to support implementation of the Yukon River Watershed Plan, approved by Yukon Tribes and First Nations last summer. The plan includes specific objectives and standards to protect water quality, quantity, and flow to assure that the Yukon River will sustain coming generations of people, fish, and wildlife in the watershed.

“We are thrilled to bring our technical expertise and build on our working partnership with YRITWC to facilitate community-supported, long-term change in water quality in the Yukon River Basin,” says Jon Bonkoski, senior GIS analyst at Ecotrust.

Fowler will be presenting a $50,000 cheque for this project to YRITWC staffer Jody Inkster on Tuesday, June 10th at the RBC branch location in Whitehorse.

Join RBC in celebrating Blue Water Day on Thursday June 12th, 2014. This year, RBC is encouraging its employees, clients and the communities it serves around the world to organize a RBC Blue Water Community Makeover. For more information, visit






About Ecotrust

Ecotrust’s mission is to fosteranatural model ofdevelopment that createsmore resilient communities, economies, and ecosystems hereandaroundthe world. Overmorethan 20years, Ecotrust has converted $80 million in grants into morethan $800 million in capital assets at work forlocal people, businesses, andorganizations from Alaskato California. Ecotrust’s manyinnovations include co-foundingan environmental bank, startingthe world’s first ecosystem investment fund, creating a rangeof programs in fisheries,forestry, food, farms and indigenous affairs,and developingnew scientificand information tools to improvesocial, economic, and environmental decisionmaking. Ecotrust works locallyin ways that promisehope abroad, and it takes inspiration from thewisdom of Native andFirst Nation leadership.Learn more at @ ecotrust


About the RBC Global Blue Water Project

Launched in 2007, the RBC Blue Water Project is a 10-year global charitable commitment of $50 million to help provide access to drinkable, swimmable, fishable water, now and for future generations.


About the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council

The Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council is an Indigenous grassroots organization, consisting of 70 First Nations and Tribes, dedicated to the protection and preservation of the Yukon River Watershed. The YRITWC accomplishes this by providing Yukon First Nations and Alaska Tribes in the Yukon Watershed with technical assistance, such as facilitating the development and exchange of information, coordinating efforts between First Nations and Tribes, undertaking research, and providing training, education, and awareness programs to promote the health of the Watershed and its Indigenous peoples.