What size of network or alliance is most effective?
There is no easy answer to what scale works best when creating a formal guardian network or stewardship alliance. It may depend on:
- Your natural allies or partners.
- Your shared purpose and goals.
- The logistics, time and resources required to build and maintain a network.
Both large and small networks have pros and cons. It’s important to think through what these could be before establishing an alliance.
Strong alliances of just a few neighbouring Nations or communities can be successful. These networks often share common ground in terms of interests, concerns and priorities, as well as familiarity, shared culture or family networks, and fewer logistical barriers to working together. Read the story 'Together is Better - The Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance' about a small alliance of First Nation on the central coast of BC.
Meanwhile, forming networks with other programs across a large or culturally diverse geography can also be successful. Larger networks may focus efforts on things like advocacy or awareness raising rather than developing joint patrols or monitoring initiatives. Read the story 'Gaining Momentum - A National Network for Indigenous Guardians' about a new national initiative to link Indigenous Guardian programs.
Regardless of your networks’ size and scope, it is important to clearly identify the purpose and goals of any collaborative efforts right from the start. Then, revisit them as a group regularly to confirm ongoing alignment.