What do you want to achieve with your monitoring efforts?
Your monitoring plan should be informed by and connect to the vision and strategic priorities developed for your Indigenous Guardian program and possibly other relevant higher-level plans developed by your community or organization. Start by reviewing and referencing this work, then bring the right people together (i.e. guardians, elders, land users, etc.) to explore and clarify what your specific monitoring goals could be.
Some questions that can help frame this goal setting discussion include:
- In the larger context of what we are trying to achieve, why is monitoring important?
- What are the issues, impacts or trends we are most concerned about and want to monitor?
- What do we already know about in these key areas, and what new or additional information is needed?
- Who else is collecting related or relevant monitoring data? Are there others collaborating to monitor issues that you want to monitor?
As you work through these questions, draft and review goal statements to guide your monitoring work.
Consider bringing in additional technical expertise to help think through specific pieces. The right advisor can help ensure you have a monitoring plan that is clear and doable. You also want to set up a monitoring plan that can be built upon over time as experience is gained, baseline information is gathered, and monitoring and data needs change.
Check out the powerpoint presentation 'Collaboration in Practice' that describes the Regional Monitoring System, developed for Coastal First Nations and the patrol effort of the Kitasoo/Xai'Xais watchmen.