Resources in chapter Create a Network or Alliance

Tipsheet

Tips for Network and Alliance Building

  1. Co-create a shared vision and purpose for the network or alliance.
  2. Consider developing a strategic or annual plan. These documents, plus your vision statement, can help to resolve conflicts if they arise.
  3. Be clear about network or alliance membership and expectations of these members.
  4. Establish clear governance structures and decision-making processes at the start. Each network or alliance member must determine who has the authority to make decisions on behalf of their community or organization and what decisions they can make. A Terms of Reference can help to clarify issues of governance, decision-making, and engagement.
  5. Take the necessary time to build trust and strong relationships amongst members. Support and foster regular communications, including regularly scheduled calls or face-to-face meetings
  6. Focus on easy wins and low-hanging fruit in the beginning. Tackle more complex issues when relationships have deepened.
  7. Find easy ways for members to report back to their community or organization about the activities and successes of the network or alliance.
  8. Make sure that everyone involved understands that not all members can have equal capacity, funding or political will to contribute to the initiative in the same way.
  9. Keep the network flexible and nimble. Enable members to maintain autonomy by opting in or out of specific activities or initiatives.
  10. Develop data and information sharing agreements between member Nations if applicable.
Worksheet

Overview Worksheet - Create a Network or Alliance

Use this worksheet to think through whether creating or joining a guardian network or alliance makes sense for your program. Download it now

Section: Why form a network or alliance?

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Growing As Needs Grow: Coastal Stewardship Network

The Coastal Stewardship Network (originally called the Coastal Guardian Watchmen Network) was created in 2005. It was established when Guardian Watchmen on BC’s North and Central Coasts came together to think about how to develop and expand the role of local Guardian Watchmen programs.

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Growing As Needs Grow: Coastal Stewardship Network

Section: What Indigenous Guardian networks exist now?

Indigenous Guardians Gathering
Indigenous Guardians Gathering - Ottawa 2016

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Section: Are the conditions right to build or join a network or alliance?

“Politically, it can be difficult to get groups to work together but technically, it’s amazing how similar the issues are as well as the training needs. The Guardians themselves echo how much they value the peer and technical support through our network. We coordinate training that wouldn’t be possible without a network. We also purchase equipment such as drones and make it available for Nations to use.” .

Chris Roberts, Nanwakolas Council
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“Politically, it can be difficult to get groups to work together but technically, it’s amazing how similar the issues are..."

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Indigenous Guardian Networks Grounded in Cultural Values

Section: What size of network or alliance is most effective?

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Together is Better - The Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance

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Gaining Momentum - A National Network for Indigenous Guardians

The Indigenous Leadership Initiative (ILI) is promoting a federally funded, Indigenous-led National Indigenous Guardians Network in Canada. This network would support the development and employment of guardians across the country. It has generated broad support, including from the Assembly of First Nations which passed a resolution in 2015 calling for a national guardians program.

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Gaining Momentum - A National Network for Indigenous Guardians

Section: What is the role of network or alliance staff?

“When providing support to the network, it’s important to do what you say you are going to do, respond quickly, and engage at the different levels – political, managerial, technical. We established trust by communicating regularly with everyone so that we’re all on the same page. We constantly check in on what our members need and what their priorities are. Our most important lesson is to emphasize the autonomy of each Nation.”

Chris Roberts, Nanwakolas Council
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“When providing support to the network, it’s important to do what you say you are going to do..."