What are the benefits of working with resource agencies?
Often, the stronger the working relationships your Indigenous Guardian program can build with resource agencies, the stronger the protection and stewardship of your lands and waters can be.
Some of the positive outcomes and benefits of Indigenous Guardian programs working with resource agencies include:
- Improved mutual understanding and trust.
- Improved responsiveness from resource agencies regarding Indigenous priorities.
- Increased coordination of stewardship work between various authorities.
- Increased sharing of data and information leading to better management of lands and waters.
- Better protection of important cultural and ecological sites.
- Better implementation of plans and agreements developed by and with Indigenous communities.
- Increased compliance with Indigenous, territorial, federal and/or provincial laws.
- Indigenous Guardians and resource agency staff both viewed positively by the general public when seen to be working together.
- Increased skill building for both Indigenous Guardian program staff and resource agency staff from working on projects together.
- Cost benefits of sharing boats, field equipment, information, etc.
- Opportunities for revenue generation for Indigenous Guardian programs (e.g. fee for service contracts).
Over time, the effort put towards building reciprocal working relationships with resource agencies can lead to increased coordination and effectiveness of stewardship activities on-the-ground, and stronger alignment of crown laws and policies with Indigenous values. It must be acknowledged, however, that getting to this place of reciprocity takes time.