Chapter 15

Establish Relationships with Resource Agencies

Responsibility for the stewardship of lands and waters is complex and involves many players.  The activities and mandates of Indigenous Guardian programs often intersect with those of provincial, federal or territorial resource agencies, departments, or programs.

The general term “resource agency” is used to capture the range of crown government entities involved in stewardship and natural resource management. Some of the resource agencies that Indigenous Guardian programs may interact with include:

  • Federal agencies such as Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment Canada, Parks Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service
  • Provincial/territorial ministries responsible for environmental protection, lands, water, wildlife management, protected area management, forestry, energy, or mining
  • Municipalities or regional agencies that play a role in resource stewardship

Developing relationships with resource agencies can be an important part of Indigenous Guardian programs.

Explore this section to learn:

  1. How the on-the-ground effort of resource agencies is changing.
  2. The benefits of working with resource agencies.
  3. The challenges of working with resource agencies.
  4. Some ways to engage with resource agencies.
  5. How relationships with resource agencies can be formalized.

 

Tipsheet

Tips for Building Relationships with Agencies

  1. Build one-on-one working relationships with key contacts in government. Relationships at the local level can create new opportunities and open doors for higher-level negotiations and successes.
  2. The openness of resource agency staff to collaboration often depends on the personality and competence of the individual in the position. Keep in mind that because of this, staff turnover can work for or against you!  
  3. Learn about any constraints that resource agency staff may be under, hampering their ability to do their job as effectively as you’d like. While these constraints are sometimes a hindrance, they can also open up opportunities for collaboration.
  4. Educate and regularly update agency staff about your program or community’s priorities and activities.
  5. When possible, conduct joint patrols with resource agency compliance and enforcement staff to build relationships, share knowledge, coordinate efforts, and learn from each other.
  6. Develop protocols and procedures with agencies regarding how to report and follow up on compliance infractions.
  7. Where appropriate, participate in agency-led research and other resource management projects and invite resource agency staff to participate in your guardian and stewardship activities.
  8. Develop opportunities to participate in technical and professional training that is offered to agency staff.
  9. Host multi-agency meetings with on-the-ground staff at the beginning of each season. Find out what each other’s priorities are, where work plans overlap and how to communicate effectively throughout the season.
  10. Find ways to share data, observations, and other information both formally and informally.
Tipsheet

Tips for Building Relationships with Agencies

Worksheet

Overview Worksheet - Building Relationships with Resource Agencies

This worksheet provides a series of questions to help think through existing and potential relationships you have with resource agencies and opportunities to work together to support guardian priorities and activities. Download it now

Worksheet

Overview Worksheet - Building Relationships with Resource Agencies