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. They recognized that Guardian Watchmen were necessary to ensure effective implementation of land and marine use plans and other sustainable resource management initiatives.
At that time, participants identified two priorities:
- Establish a network of Guardian Watchmen to facilitate ongoing dialogue, cooperation and learning between communities.
- Develop training programs to build the skills and capacity of communities to strengthen their Guardian Watchmen efforts.
As each Nation’s stewardship efforts grew to establish an integral Stewardship Office, the Coastal Stewardship Network expanded its scope. Now it provides support to all stewardship staff, not just on the ground field staff.
Currently, the Network supports member Nations by:
- Organizing networking opportunities such as an annual gathering where stewardship staff strategize, share experiences, and learn from each other, as well as regular meetings and conference calls for directors or Guardian Watchmen.
- Supporting communities to assess capacity and resource needs and identify program priorities.
- Developing standardized training programs and other materials.
- Developing regional initiatives such as the regional monitoring system and Indigenous laws projects.
- Creating outreach and education tools.