Don’t underestimate the power of “presence.” Having identifiable guardians out on the lands and waters patrolling and monitoring will influence what activity happens in your territory.
People respond well to uniformed guardians that conduct themselves professionally and treat people respectfully.
Seek clarity from your leaders and your community about which rules and regulations related to stewardship are the highest priority for your guardians to help ensure compliance with.
Inform and educate people about rules and regulations, most often this will lead to voluntary compliance. People may not know what is expected and will typically respond positively to learning about the rules and regulations.
Have pamphlets, formal letters, or other printed materials to share with people that provide information about your Indigenous Guardian program and/or important rules and regulations that you are asking people to follow.
Develop strong and reciprocal relationships with resource agencies who enforce provincial, territorial and federal laws. This will help improve response to infractions or emerging issues that your guardians observe, record and report. See the chapter 'Establish Relationships with Resource Agencies' for further information.
If your community is focused on the revitalization and application of Indigenous laws related to stewardship, make sure that you guardian program is actively involved in these conversations.
Think about the big picture and things you can do to build broader support for stewardship policies and laws that are a priority for your community.
Community leaders can act as powerful influencers when it comes to behavior shifts around rules and regulations. Engage them in supporting education and outreach around compliance issues. See the chapter 'Engage the Community' for more ideas.
Influencing the actions of community members can be challenging. It can be done by engaging the community early on, building knowledge and trust, developing a sense of shared stewardship responsibility, and having clarity around rules and the implications of breaking the rules.
If your community is interested in Indigenous Guardians playing an enforcement role, be strategic about the enforcement responsibilities your community wants and systematically work towards them. With enforcement comes significant responsibility and requires dedicated resources. Know what you’re committing to.