There are a wide variety of innovative and meaningful partnerships, programs and initiatives underway that contribute to the advancement of this action:
- Collaborative Indigenous Stewardship Framework (CISF)
- On October 24, 2022, the Province endorsed a long-term commitment to fund regional Collaborative Indigenous Stewardship Forums, including an expanded Cumulative Effects Framework and support for Guardians. This will provide stability and certainty to the work of existing and future forums in delivering resource stewardship through shared decision-making and co-management that brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous data, knowledge systems and methodologies.
- Collaborative marine planning (i.e., Marine Protected Areas Network and Marine Plan Partnership for the Northern Shelf Bioregion)
- In February 2023, 15 First Nations, the Government of Canada and the Government of B.C. jointly endorsed the Marine Protected Area Network Action Plan (the Action Plan) for the Northern Shelf Bioregion. Rooted in Indigenous knowledge and robust science, the Action Plan is a model of collaborative governance/stewardship and provides a planned approach to the protection of the oceans and their marine wildlife and environments.
- Blueberry River First Nations Implementation Agreement
- Signed on January 18, 2023, between B.C. and Blueberry River First Nations (BRFN), this agreement manages for the past, present and future cumulative impacts of industrial development on treaty rights, better protects those rights and allows for responsible resource development. This agreement includes (but is not limited to) significant and new measures such as establishing a $200 million restoration fund for BRFN to direct projects to heal the land and heal the people, a reduction in commercial timber harvesting activities in important cultural areas to BRFN members and material changes to the regulatory environment for the oil and gas sector.
- Forest Landscape Planning (FLP)
- The Ministry of Forests is undertaking four FLP pilot projects and initiating eight new FLPs throughout the province in collaboration with First Nations and Indigenous organizations. FLPs enable holistic consideration of the way forests are managed in B.C. including how they are managed for cultural values, old growth forest, wildfire and climate change resiliency. These processes represent a true collaboration on establishing how natural resources are managed in B.C. and will be the cornerstone of a new sustainable approach to forestry.
- As well as
- Modernized land use planning
- Great Bear Rainforest Agreement
- Aboriginal Liaison Program
- Guardian Shared Compliance and Enforcement Pilot Project with Kitasoo Xai’xais and Nuxalk First Nations, and
- The Guardians and Stewardship Training Initiative.
- Number of engagement participants in programs and events: 120 First Nations participating in collaborative stewardship tables, programs and initiatives.
- Strategic engagement underway: Nine key initiatives that include 20 collaborative stewardship tables, programs and initiatives contributing to implementation.
How are we working together?
For the 2022-2023 reporting year, the focus for consultation and collaboration was for B.C. and First Nations partners to agree on what policies, programs or initiatives currently demonstrate that progress on Action 2.6 is underway. The identified programs and initiatives jointly set priorities for stewardship activities through regionally established forums or partnerships and integrate data and decision-making through a variety of collaborative and co-operative processes. The respect and recognition of Indigenous Knowledge Systems is key in all of these processes. Each of the initiatives identified under 2.6 will contribute to the advancement of this action and represent joint stewardship in action.
Are there challenges?
Risks to fully implementing this action include the following:
- The ability to develop meaningful performance measures in consultation and co-operation with First Nations partners for the whole of 2.6 while respecting the diversity of initiatives, partnerships and governance structures within it
- Engagement/reporting fatigue and capacity constraints and the impact on sustained effort on 2.6 reporting over time, and
- Possible barriers within policy and legislation to advance innovative approaches required to achieve collaborative stewardship in alignment with UN Declaration/Declaration Act.