Resources in chapter Monitor and Collect Data

Tipsheet

Tips for Monitoring and Data Management

  1. Outline clear monitoring goals and priorities to guide your monitoring activities and efforts.
  2. Ensure the community drives the development of monitoring goals and priorities. Report monitoring activities and findings to the community in a meaningful way.
  3. Use both Indigenous and scientific knowledge to inform your monitoring program design.
  4. Know how you will use your data and what questions it can and can’t answer. Try not to collect data for data’s sake.
  5. Early on, consider how data will be managed, stored and analyzed. Without good systems in place, it will be difficult to make use of the information you collect.
  6. Identify and develop monitoring partnerships in your region or around key issues of concern to amplify the impact of your monitoring efforts and capture efficiencies that come from working together.
  7. Ensure adequate training and ongoing technical support for staff conducting monitoring work. Spend time in the field and office observing how guardians collect data, document observations, and input information into the data management system to ensure high quality data.
  8. Match the right staff to the right monitoring work. Not everyone will have the right personality for monitoring compliance of rules and regulations or community use policies.
  9. Regularly look at and report out on your data. This may help catch errors and spot trends.
  10. Assign clear responsibility to staff re: receiving, inputting, analyzing and reporting on the data. Translate this information into maps, graphs, and compelling images whenever possible.
  11. Provide opportunities for staff to present highlights of their monitoring and data collection efforts on a regular basis to managers, decision-makers, elected leaders, hereditary leaders, community members, etc.
  12. Regularly review and adapt the monitoring plan and data management system as needed.

 

Worksheet

Overview Worksheet - Monitor and Collect Data

This worksheet provides a series of questions to help think through your monitoring priorities and how you might build a monitoring plan. Download it now

Section: Why develop a monitoring plan?

Government agencies and staff can no longer point fingers at Gitanyow and say that Gitanyow hunting is part of the problem with the moose population decline. Between our harvest monitoring and our own research into the causes of the moose population decline, including taking government to court, the BC government has no scientific footing to make accusations against Gitanyow. We collect our own data and conduct our own research, and data and information are power for Gitanyow.

Kevin Koch, Gitanyow Fisheries Authority
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"Government agencies and staff can no longer point fingers at Gitanyow ..."

Section: What do you want to achieve with your monitoring efforts?

Monitoring programs need to address the issue of thresholds and acceptable levels of change. Rather than just collect data, the design of the program should inform a conversation about the levels of development that are acceptable.

From: “Summary Workshop Report: On-the-ground Indigenous Stewardship in Canada”. Squamish, BC.  2014.
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"Monitoring programs need to address the issue of thresholds...

Community resource

Regional Monitoring System: Collaboration in Practice - Kitasoo/Xai’Xais Integrated Resources Authority and Coastal Stewardship Network

‘Collaboration in Practice’ is a PowerPoint presentation that was given jointly by the Kitasoo/Xai’Xais First Nation and the Coastal Stewardship Network at the Indigenous Mapping workshop. It gives an overview of the Regional Monitoring System used by Coastal Guardian Watchmen and how data are collected and used by the Kitasoo/Xai’Xais Integrated Resource Stewardship Authority.

Community resource

Regional Monitoring System: Collaboration in Practice - Kitasoo/Xai’Xais Integrated Resources Authority and Coastal Stewardship Network

Section: What are the different types of monitoring?

Info sheet

Description of Different Types of Monitoring

Ecological Monitoring

  • Ecological monitoring involves tracking changes on the lands and waters to understand any changes. Often, it involves establishing baseline conditions as well as thresholds that indicate acceptable/normal change and significant/concerning change. If you are using Indigenous indicators of ecosystem health, the knowledge keepers in your Indigenous community can help to determine what those thresholds are. Ecological monitoring covers a broad spectrum of activity and may involve monitoring for cumulative effects from multiple activities, tracking climate change impacts, or impact monitoring after an environmental emergency. It may also involve collecting species-specific information, for instance on species-at-risk, invasive plants/animals, or species of cultural importance.

Cultural Monitoring

  • Cultural monitoring ensures the protection of cultural sites (e.g. sacred sites, culturally modified trees, burial sites, high use cultural areas, etc.). It usually involves developing an inventory of these sites if this hasn’t been done already through other processes. Managing and monitoring cultural sites may bring unwanted attention to them, potentially making it harder to protect them. Often, high cultural value sites also have other high values (i.e. recreation, hunting). To address this, consider complementary strategies to manage access and use, establish cultural protocols, and ensure compliance.

Compliance Monitoring  

  • Compliance monitoring is focused on ensuring that industrial, commercial, recreational, or community activities on the lands and waters are in compliance with rules and regulations. These may be federal, territorial, provincial or Indigenous laws and regulations or associated resource management agreements, plans or policies. Compliance monitoring requires that Indigenous guardians have a thorough understanding of what they are monitoring for compliance against. It is important that they have formal authorization to do this work, backed up by documentation or agreements that can be provided when required. Because compliance monitoring may involve recording infractions as well as interacting with people who may be in violation (knowingly or unknowingly), other skills and supports become essential to keep guardians safe and effective in this role. These include strong communication and people skills, conflict resolution skills, well-established protocols and safety policies to follow, observation cards, uniforms, ID badges, and support information materials.

Effectiveness Monitoring

  • Effectiveness monitoring is done to determine how effective an existing management plan or management effort is. If the monitoring data suggests that the current management measures are not effective, the plan may need to be adjusted. For example, effectiveness monitoring plans can be designed to evaluate if a mining company’s management plan is being effective at maintaining ecosystem health or a restoration plan is being effective at rehabilitating an area. Effectiveness monitoring is part of an adaptive management approach.
Info sheet

Description of Different Types of Monitoring

Community resource

Community Based Monitoring Program Activities and Protocol - Mikisew Cree First Nation

Section: How can Indigenous knowledge shape your monitoring methods and design?

Community resource

Community Monitor Report - Arctic Borderlands Ecological Knowledge Society

Community resource

Community Ecosystem Monitoring Interview Questions - Arctic Borderlands Ecological Knowledge Society

Community resource

Miawpukek Traditional Land Use Study Final Report

Section: What methods should be used to collect data?

In our experience, you should start with a data collection method that has buy-in. If you are trying to influence the province, ensure they have reviewed your monitoring method and buy into it. The more data we collect, the more we become experts in terms of the moose on Gitanyow territory and on hunting and management issues. If things do go to court, we have all this background information that will be important in influencing the decision. They will do what they can to pick apart your data, so having a qualified professional sign off on the data and research helps.

Kevin Koch, Gitanyow Fisheries Authority - Lax'yip Guardians Program
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"In our experience, you should start with a data collection method that has buy-in..."

Community resource

Coastal Stewardship Network – Coastal Guardian Watchman Regional Monitoring System Overview

Community resource

Regional Monitoring System Methods and Instructions - Coastal Stewardship Network

The ‘Regional Monitoring System Methods and Instructions’ shared by the Coastal Stewardship Network describes methods for collecting data and filling in field cards, including patrol effort, wildlife, trap and boat sightings; approaching tourists; enforcement incidents; and impacts to cultural and ecological sites.  These methods were originally developed in 2010 and have evolved and changed si

Community resource

Regional Monitoring System Methods and Instructions - Coastal Stewardship Network

Community resource

Archaeological Site Recording - Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network

Community resource

Eelgrass Monitoring Manual - Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network

Community resource

Clam Survey Manual - Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network

Community resource

Crab Survey Manual - Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network

Section: What tools will you use to collect data?

Story

From Australia to BC: Improving Data Collection with CoastTracker

Community resource

Indigenous Mapping Workshop

The 5th annual Indigenous Mapping Workshop is happening from August 20 - 23, 2018 in Montreal, Quebec.  The workshop will host more than 300 community mapping practitioners from across North America, including people involved in Indigenous Guardian programs.  Participants will learn how to use various tools (including Google, Esri Canada, QG

Community resource

Indigenous Mapping Workshop

Worksheet

Data Collection and Management Tools

This worksheet provides an introductory overview to some of the pros and cons of different approaches to collecting data and poses some questions to consider re. data management tools.

Worksheet

Data Collection and Management Tools

Section: How will you manage and store your data?

Story

An Evolving Data Management System: The Mikisew Cree First Nations’ Approach

Story

Building a Regional Monitoring System: The Coastal Stewardship Network’s Approach

Section: How will you report on and share your data and monitoring results?

It’s vital that the data collected through monitoring programs is accessible and meaningful to the community, so that people can participate in the understanding of what is going on out on the land, and how the data being collected informs decision making on natural resource management.

Participant, From: “Summary Workshop Report: On-the-ground Indigenous Stewardship in Canada”. Squamish, BC.  February, 2014. Prepared by Dovetail Consulting Group)
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"It’s vital that the data collected through monitoring programs is accessible and..."

Story

Many Lines on a Map: Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation

Community resource

Draft Data Sharing Questions - Ecotrust Canada

Community resource

Information Sharing Agreement Template

The 'Information Sharing Agreement Template' shared by the Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance is a useful tool to assist your community in drafting an Information Sharing Agreement. It could be used for entering into a collaborative process, joint decision-making process or a one off project with a Crown agency.

Community resource

Information Sharing Agreement Template

Story

Mackenzie DataStream: Data sharing for shared water stewardship

Story

Sink Holes, Dying Birch, and a Spring Cold Snap: Supporting Local Observations on Environmental Change with Indigenous and Scientific Knowledge

Section: What are your monitoring priorities?

Story

Setting Priorities: Evolving Coastal First Nations Regional Monitoring